Bone Grafting

When is bone augmentation or bone graft surgery required? What is the downtime for the procedure?

Bone grafts help in the placement of dental implants and replaces missing gums. Bone graft surgeries are commonly done to improve the oral tissue to support replacement teeth. For a bigger bone graft, they may be harvested from the hip.

For smaller bone grafts, sterile materials from a vial will be sufficient. For larger bone graft procedures, a few days of rest may be needed. For smaller procedures, the rest time could be minimal.


Braces

Is orthodontic treatment suitable for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems or patients who are pregnant?

As long as the medical problem is under control and one is motivated about treatment, there is rarely a contraindication for orthodontic treatment. Digital x-rays are needed at the start and end of treatment and (sometimes) along the way. Orthodontic treatment is not harmful during pregnancy.

Does diet play a part in crooked teeth?

Diet does not play a significant role in crooked teeth. However, a high sugar diet during childhood can lead to dental decay and early loss of baby teeth. Premature loss of baby teeth may lead to irregularities in alignment of the adult teeth later on.

Another contributing factor for crooked teeth is thumb sucking or use of a pacifier for a prolonged period of time. Thus, it is good preventive practice to wean a child off the pacifier or thumb sucking as early as possible.

What happens after the braces are removed/ after I complete my Invisalign treatment?

After orthodontic treatment is completed, you will need retainers to maintain your teeth in their corrected positions and prevent relapse (teeth moving back out of alignment).

Some retainers are removable and can be taken out of the mouth for eating, brushing and contact sports. There are also retainers that are fixed onto the back of your front teeth. Depending on the individual situation, our dental specialist/ dentists will prescribe the best option for you.

It is important that you wear your retainers faithfully. The removable retainers have to be worn full time daily for the first 6 months, followed by night time wear, gradually reducing this over time. Retainers can be easily maintained with simple brushing using a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinsed with tap water.

In addition, a 6-monthly ongoing dental follow-up helps to maintain optimal treatment results and overall dental health. Also, any issues (e.g. change of alignment) arising after completion of your braces treatment could be addressed promptly. Follow-ups can be done at the same time during your regular professional dental cleaning.

Are there any alternatives to wearing braces if I want to get my teeth straightened faster?

Orthodontic treatment typically requires 12 to 24 months to complete.

Alternatively, veneers may be considered if one is unable to attend regular sessions over 12 to 24 months at the dentist. The entire process takes only a few days to complete.

I am an adult. Is it too late for me to wear braces/ Invisalign to correct my crooked teeth?

It is never too late. Scientific literature shows that orthodontic treatment in adults is feasible and predictable. As long as your gums are in good condition, orthodontic treatment is predictable. There are times that your dental team may need to clear up some existing dental concerns (e.g. cavities) before starting on orthodontic treatment.

Do I need to have my teeth extracted if I wear braces/ Invisalign?

It depends. We try not to extract teeth unless we see a clear indication. Sometimes, teeth can be aligned without the need for extractions. On the other hand, in some situations, extraction is one of the means to get space required to align crooked teeth properly and achieving a pleasant facial profile.

My sibling has crooked teeth. Does this mean that I will also have crooked teeth too?

It depends. Certain hereditary traits such as small or big teeth, missing teeth, jaw size and jaw growth problems have strong genetic links. However, there are also other factors involved such as thumb-sucking or pacifier sucking past a certain age, mouth breathing, early loss of primary (milk) teeth and trauma that lead to crowding and misalignment of teeth.

What should I take note of when having braces?

Braces need a series of appointments to complete. For predictable results, you have to make sure you keep to your scheduled appointments and brush your teeth well. Regular professional dental cleaning every 3 to 6 months is also essential for a good overall treatment outcome. Caring for your braces and preventing breakages helps to ensure that you complete your treatment within the expected duration.


Bridges

How should I care for my temporary teeth?

Temporary teeth, whether they are dental bridges or crowns are not meant to be permanent. They also serve as a blueprint for the development of the final teeth, allowing adjustments to be made until the shape is correct. Here are several precautions to take note when you have temporary teeth:

  • Avoid sticky, chewy foods (for example, chewing gum, toffee, etc.), which could dislodge the bridges.
  • Minimize use of the side of your mouth with the temporary teeth. Try to chew more on the other side of your mouth.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods (such as nuts, raw vegetables, apples, etc.), which could dislodge and/or break the temporary teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry

I have tried whitening toothpastes but to no effect. Is there any way to whiten my teeth?

All permanent teeth are slightly off-white. Some have darker teeth due to intrinsic discolouration – defects in tooth formation or from taking certain medication when young. Extrinsic discolourations, due to consumption of food and drinks like coffee and tea, can also be deposited on the surface of the teeth.

Professional teeth whitening can help in most situations. In general, off-the-counter whitening toothpastes are not as effective as professional whitening but they are helpful in maintaining the colour stability of your teeth after professional whitening.

I recently notice little dark spots on my teeth, particularly on my front teeth. When I brush, they go away a little but by the end of the day, they are back. What is this and how do I get rid of it? I do not drink coffee, but I do smoke a few cigarettes a day.

Teeth discolouration can be either external or internal. External and internal discolouration have different causes and their treatments are different. Smoking, as well as tea, coffee and soft drink consumption are some of the biggest causes of external staining. At times, irregularities on teeth surfaces may contribute significantly to the uptake of external stains too.

Deep stain could be the result of a dead or infected tooth. External discolouration can be predictably treated with cleaning and whitening, while treatment for intrinsic discolouration will be more complicated. The key to effective treatment is to get a proper examination and diagnosis. Your dentist would be able to identify the causes of your concern and the relevant treatment.

How can I keep and maintain my teeth white after teeth whitening treatment?

In order to maximize the longevity of your whitening treatment, it is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene (brush and floss after every meal) and steer clear of foods and drinks that cause discolouration (coffee, tea, red wine, carbonated soft drinks, etc.).

One way to avoid future staining is to use a straw, even with coffee and tea.

Smokers wishing to undergo whitening treatment are advised to stop smoking in order to prevent staining.

What is the difference between whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter whitening kits and having your teeth whitened by a dentist?

Having your teeth whitened by a dentist in the clinic is effective and safe.

Some people prefer to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their home. The at-home whitening kit is a prescription-strength gel that is more effective than over-the-counter whitening kits. Whitening toothpastes typically do not have much whitening effect but are helpful in maintaining the colour stability of your teeth after professional whitening.

Is orthodontic treatment suitable for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems or patients who are pregnant?

As long as the medical problem is under control and one is motivated about treatment, there is rarely a contraindication for orthodontic treatment. Digital x-rays are needed at the start and end of treatment and (sometimes) along the way. Orthodontic treatment is not harmful during pregnancy.

Does diet play a part in crooked teeth?

Diet does not play a significant role in crooked teeth. However, a high sugar diet during childhood can lead to dental decay and early loss of baby teeth. Premature loss of baby teeth may lead to irregularities in alignment of the adult teeth later on.

Another contributing factor for crooked teeth is thumb sucking or use of a pacifier for a prolonged period of time. Thus, it is good preventive practice to wean a child off the pacifier or thumb sucking as early as possible.

What happens after the braces are removed/ after I complete my Invisalign treatment?

After orthodontic treatment is completed, you will need retainers to maintain your teeth in their corrected positions and prevent relapse (teeth moving back out of alignment).

Some retainers are removable and can be taken out of the mouth for eating, brushing and contact sports. There are also retainers that are fixed onto the back of your front teeth. Depending on the individual situation, our dental specialist/ dentists will prescribe the best option for you.

It is important that you wear your retainers faithfully. The removable retainers have to be worn full time daily for the first 6 months, followed by night time wear, gradually reducing this over time. Retainers can be easily maintained with simple brushing using a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinsed with tap water.

In addition, a 6-monthly ongoing dental follow-up helps to maintain optimal treatment results and overall dental health. Also, any issues (e.g. change of alignment) arising after completion of your braces treatment could be addressed promptly. Follow-ups can be done at the same time during your regular professional dental cleaning.

Are there any alternatives to wearing braces if I want to get my teeth straightened faster?

Orthodontic treatment typically requires 12 to 24 months to complete.

Alternatively, veneers may be considered if one is unable to attend regular sessions over 12 to 24 months at the dentist. The entire process takes only a few days to complete.

I am an adult. Is it too late for me to wear braces/ Invisalign to correct my crooked teeth?

It is never too late. Scientific literature shows that orthodontic treatment in adults is feasible and predictable. As long as your gums are in good condition, orthodontic treatment is predictable. There are times that your dental team may need to clear up some existing dental concerns (e.g. cavities) before starting on orthodontic treatment.

Do I need to have my teeth extracted if I wear braces/ Invisalign?

It depends. We try not to extract teeth unless we see a clear indication. Sometimes, teeth can be aligned without the need for extractions. On the other hand, in some situations, extraction is one of the means to get space required to align crooked teeth properly and achieving a pleasant facial profile.

My sibling has crooked teeth. Does this mean that I will also have crooked teeth too?

It depends. Certain hereditary traits such as small or big teeth, missing teeth, jaw size and jaw growth problems have strong genetic links. However, there are also other factors involved such as thumb-sucking or pacifier sucking past a certain age, mouth breathing, early loss of primary (milk) teeth and trauma that lead to crowding and misalignment of teeth.

What should I take note of when having braces?

Braces need a series of appointments to complete. For predictable results, you have to make sure you keep to your scheduled appointments and brush your teeth well. Regular professional dental cleaning every 3 to 6 months is also essential for a good overall treatment outcome. Caring for your braces and preventing breakages helps to ensure that you complete your treatment within the expected duration.


Crowns

How should I care for my temporary teeth?

Temporary teeth, whether they are dental bridges or crowns are not meant to be permanent. They also serve as a blueprint for the development of the final teeth, allowing adjustments to be made until the shape is correct. Here are several precautions to take note when you have temporary teeth:

  • Avoid sticky, chewy foods (for example, chewing gum, toffee, etc.), which could dislodge the bridges.
  • Minimize use of the side of your mouth with the temporary teeth. Try to chew more on the other side of your mouth.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods (such as nuts, raw vegetables, apples, etc.), which could dislodge and/or break the temporary teeth.

Dental Implants

How do I clean/maintain my dental implants?

Implant supported teeth look and function very similar to our natural teeth and you should care for them as you would care for your natural teeth. This includes brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, flossing at least once day, and visiting your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and professional cleaning.

If the implants are supporting a removable denture, the denture and the implants should be cleaned separately. Removable dentures are best left out of the mouth in a glass of water while you are sleeping. This allows some ‘breathing time’ for the gums.

What should I do after my implant surgery?

Bite onto the gauze placed over the surgical site for 1hour. If you do taste any blood, it is normal. Do not spit it out, rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for 24 hours. Rinsing your mouth and spitting out may dislodge the blood clot and bleeding may start again. It is harmless to swallow any blood you may taste. The surgical site usually stays numb for approximately 2 hours. Hot food and drinks should not be consumed until the numbness wears off. After that, eat over the other side of your mouth that has not been treated. It is crucial to take all the medication as prescribed and keep to your follow-up appointment.

When is bone augmentation or bone graft surgery required? What is the downtime for the procedure?

Bone grafts help in the placement of dental implants and replaces missing gums. Bone graft surgeries are commonly done to improve the oral tissue to support replacement teeth. For a bigger bone graft, they may be harvested from the hip.

For smaller bone grafts, sterile materials from a vial will be sufficient. For larger bone graft procedures, a few days of rest may be needed. For smaller procedures, the rest time could be minimal.

Do implant procedures hurt? What is the downtime for the procedure?

Implant procedures are painless. Under local anaesthesia and occasionally in combination with a mild general anaesthetic (called sedation), the procedures are carried out pain-free. In combination with adhering to the medicine prescribed post-treatment, recovery should be painless as well.

Downtime is minimal. Most of our patients can get back to normal daily activities on the same day. Some may choose to take it easy for a day or two – it is a matter of personal choice.

I have a failing tooth, should I remove it ahead of time and replace it with an implant?

This depends on the long term prognosis of the tooth and the expected success rate of the treatment for that failing tooth. World-wide scientific studies from 1965 onwards have shown that implant teeth are approximately 95% successful.

If the expected success rate of the salvage procedure for the failing tooth is diagnosised to be poor, it may be wiser to remove a failing tooth and replace it with dental implants. Also, over the long process of failing teeth, the associated jawbone is commonly destroyed. This often complicates and occasionally disallows future teeth replacement. In general, hanging onto failing teeth without treatment is not recommended.

When should I have dental implants?

Once teeth are diagnosed as ailing, the jawbones will continue to shrink over time. Once teeth are gone, after a number of years, the jawbone can become quite thin. A thin jawbone does not support dentures and the jawbone may be susceptible to fractures. Scientific studies have shown that dental implants, like healthy natural teeth, maintain the volume of healthy jawbones over time.

How would my dental implants look?

Looking at a smile with dental implants is like looking at a smile with natural teeth. No one will be able to tell the difference.

How do dental implants compare with dentures?

Modern technology allows dentures to be made accurately and well fitting. However, even with these advances, with time, many patients may suffer from denture pain, denture slippage and discomfort. This is especially true for those individuals with a full set of lower dentures.

Dental implants are strong because they are directly anchored in the jawbones, just like real teeth. Unlike conventional dentures, there is no problem with slippage, which means that one can eat and speak with comfort and confidence.

Dentures cover large areas of the mouth and taste buds. This makes eating less enjoyable and food tastes less tasty. Dental crowns which permanent teeth attached to dental implants do not cover such a large area and do not compromise the taste of food.

Can anyone, adults of any age and children, have dental implants?

Dental implants are commonly used for adults but they are seldom recommended as a teeth replacement option for children.


Dentures

How do dental implants compare with dentures?

Modern technology allows dentures to be made accurately and well fitting. However, even with these advances, with time, many patients may suffer from denture pain, denture slippage and discomfort. This is especially true for those individuals with a full set of lower dentures.

Dental implants are strong because they are directly anchored in the jawbones, just like real teeth. Unlike conventional dentures, there is no problem with slippage, which means that one can eat and speak with comfort and confidence.

Dentures cover large areas of the mouth and taste buds. This makes eating less enjoyable and food tastes less tasty. Dental crowns which permanent teeth attached to dental implants do not cover such a large area and do not compromise the taste of food.


Gum Treatment

I heard that unhealthy gums can lead to other health problems. Is this true?

Research has shown that untreated gum disease is correlated to diabetes, heart and blood vessel diseases, stroke, pregnancy complications, and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and some types of cancers. Mouth infections may also increase the risk for those who are undergoing several types of surgery.

A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that by treating severe gum disease, the function of the blood vessel walls could be improved, thereby improving heart health. Studies in the Journal of Periodontology also found periodontal bacteria (which are present in inflamed gums) in the arteries of people with heart disease and in the placentas of pregnant women.

Another well-established link is between gum disease and secondary infection. An example is patients with defective heart valves. Bacteria from the gum pockets can enter the bloodstream to infect other parts of the body, including the heart valves. These patients are commonly warned by their doctors to take antibiotics before dental or surgical procedures.

Bearing all the above in mind, maintaining healthy gums potentially has a positive impact on the overall health of one’s body. Prevention is always better than cure.

My gums bleed frequently. Can you help?

Bleeding gums is commonly caused by gingivitis (milder gum disease) and periodontitis (more advanced gum disease). Gum disease, over the long term, may cause bleeding gums during daily activities like teeth brushing, eating, or sometimes even spontaneous bleeding. This can be commonly controlled by regular periodontal cleaning.

On rare occasions, this may be a sign of more severe problems such as blood diseases, drug interactions, diabetes, etc. A dental check-up is a good starting point to rule out other non-dental causes of gum bleeding.


Invisalign®

Is orthodontic treatment suitable for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems or patients who are pregnant?

As long as the medical problem is under control and one is motivated about treatment, there is rarely a contraindication for orthodontic treatment. Digital x-rays are needed at the start and end of treatment and (sometimes) along the way. Orthodontic treatment is not harmful during pregnancy.

Does diet play a part in crooked teeth?

Diet does not play a significant role in crooked teeth. However, a high sugar diet during childhood can lead to dental decay and early loss of baby teeth. Premature loss of baby teeth may lead to irregularities in alignment of the adult teeth later on.

Another contributing factor for crooked teeth is thumb sucking or use of a pacifier for a prolonged period of time. Thus, it is good preventive practice to wean a child off the pacifier or thumb sucking as early as possible.

What happens after the braces are removed/ after I complete my Invisalign treatment?

After orthodontic treatment is completed, you will need retainers to maintain your teeth in their corrected positions and prevent relapse (teeth moving back out of alignment).

Some retainers are removable and can be taken out of the mouth for eating, brushing and contact sports. There are also retainers that are fixed onto the back of your front teeth. Depending on the individual situation, our dental specialist/ dentists will prescribe the best option for you.

It is important that you wear your retainers faithfully. The removable retainers have to be worn full time daily for the first 6 months, followed by night time wear, gradually reducing this over time. Retainers can be easily maintained with simple brushing using a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinsed with tap water.

In addition, a 6-monthly ongoing dental follow-up helps to maintain optimal treatment results and overall dental health. Also, any issues (e.g. change of alignment) arising after completion of your braces treatment could be addressed promptly. Follow-ups can be done at the same time during your regular professional dental cleaning.

I am an adult. Is it too late for me to wear braces/ Invisalign to correct my crooked teeth?

It is never too late. Scientific literature shows that orthodontic treatment in adults is feasible and predictable. As long as your gums are in good condition, orthodontic treatment is predictable. There are times that your dental team may need to clear up some existing dental concerns (e.g. cavities) before starting on orthodontic treatment.

Do I need to have my teeth extracted if I wear braces/ Invisalign?

It depends. We try not to extract teeth unless we see a clear indication. Sometimes, teeth can be aligned without the need for extractions. On the other hand, in some situations, extraction is one of the means to get space required to align crooked teeth properly and achieving a pleasant facial profile.

My sibling has crooked teeth. Does this mean that I will also have crooked teeth too?

It depends. Certain hereditary traits such as small or big teeth, missing teeth, jaw size and jaw growth problems have strong genetic links. However, there are also other factors involved such as thumb-sucking or pacifier sucking past a certain age, mouth breathing, early loss of primary (milk) teeth and trauma that lead to crowding and misalignment of teeth.


Jaw Joint (TMJ) Treatment

Which group of people are more likely to get TMJ Disorders/ Pain?

TMJ pain is a multifactorial problem. TMJ disorders affect mostly women but men also suffer from it. The number of patients with TMJ disorders declines with age. In fact, older people without teeth seldom face TMJ problems.

The other common factor of TMJ disorder is stress. Epidemiology studies have shown that more than 70% urban populations (who face more stress) suffer from some form of TMJ problems during ones´ life time.


Teeth Whitening

I have tried whitening toothpastes but to no effect. Is there any way to whiten my teeth?

All permanent teeth are slightly off-white. Some have darker teeth due to intrinsic discolouration – defects in tooth formation or from taking certain medication when young. Extrinsic discolourations, due to consumption of food and drinks like coffee and tea, can also be deposited on the surface of the teeth.

Professional teeth whitening can help in most situations. In general, off-the-counter whitening toothpastes are not as effective as professional whitening but they are helpful in maintaining the colour stability of your teeth after professional whitening.

I recently notice little dark spots on my teeth, particularly on my front teeth. When I brush, they go away a little but by the end of the day, they are back. What is this and how do I get rid of it? I do not drink coffee, but I do smoke a few cigarettes a day.

Teeth discolouration can be either external or internal. External and internal discolouration have different causes and their treatments are different. Smoking, as well as tea, coffee and soft drink consumption are some of the biggest causes of external staining. At times, irregularities on teeth surfaces may contribute significantly to the uptake of external stains too.

Deep stain could be the result of a dead or infected tooth. External discolouration can be predictably treated with cleaning and whitening, while treatment for intrinsic discolouration will be more complicated. The key to effective treatment is to get a proper examination and diagnosis. Your dentist would be able to identify the causes of your concern and the relevant treatment.

How can I keep and maintain my teeth white after teeth whitening treatment?

In order to maximize the longevity of your whitening treatment, it is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene (brush and floss after every meal) and steer clear of foods and drinks that cause discolouration (coffee, tea, red wine, carbonated soft drinks, etc.).

One way to avoid future staining is to use a straw, even with coffee and tea.

Smokers wishing to undergo whitening treatment are advised to stop smoking in order to prevent staining.

What is the difference between whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter whitening kits and having your teeth whitened by a dentist?

Having your teeth whitened by a dentist in the clinic is effective and safe.

Some people prefer to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their home. The at-home whitening kit is a prescription-strength gel that is more effective than over-the-counter whitening kits. Whitening toothpastes typically do not have much whitening effect but are helpful in maintaining the colour stability of your teeth after professional whitening.


Veneers

Are there any alternatives to wearing braces if I want to get my teeth straightened faster?

Orthodontic treatment typically requires 12 to 24 months to complete.

Alternatively, veneers may be considered if one is unable to attend regular sessions over 12 to 24 months at the dentist. The entire process takes only a few days to complete.


Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Is extraction of wisdom teeth necessary? I do not have any pain, but sometimes I feel that they are shifting and affecting my neighbouring teeth. What should I do?

It is generally recommended that you remove wisdom teeth when they are impacted, or are difficult to clean and maintain, before any problems set in. However, if the wisdom teeth have fully erupted properly, or completely buried and you have no issues with oral hygiene maintenance, then there is no need to remove them.

What are the risks of wisdom teeth removal?

Depending on the location of the wisdom teeth, a rare complication that may develop is numbness of the tongue, lip or chin. However, this is not a common occurrence and when it does happen, the effects are usually temporary.

When should I have my impacted wisdom tooth removed?

Wisdom teeth should be removed during teenage years or in the early 20s as people in this age group tend to recover faster.

Can we straighten an impacted wisdom tooth?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. It is best to remove an impacted wisdom tooth surgically, before any problems set in.


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Bronze Award
Singapore HEALTH Award
2014

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Singapore Experience Awards 2012

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