How are dental implants placed?
Implant surgery is a minor surgical procedure however, it needs to be placed under sterile conditions. Most patients having one or two implants placed will choose to have their surgery done in our surgical suite under local anaesthetic or intravenous sedation. Multiple implants, or patients who are particularly anxious or medically compromised are treated under general anaesthesia in one of our private hospitals.
A small incision is made to expose the bone. Using a series of drills, the implant site is prepared gently under water irrigation to avoid overheating the bone. A suitable sized implant is selected and placed. It is important for the placement of the implant to be very accurate and placed within certain parameters so that the final crown that is attached to the implant will look natural and aesthetic. If the bone density is good and no bone augmentation is required at the time of implant placement then only one surgical procedure is required. The implant needs 3 months to integrate with the surrounding bone before being ready to have the crown (top part of the tooth) placed on the implant. A “healing abutment” or temporary healing cap is screwed into the top part of the implant to prevent the gums from burying the implant during the 3 month healing. Sometimes, the bone is very soft and bone augmentation (grafting) may be required at the time of implant placement. In these cases, 2 stages of surgery is require. The implant will be temporarily buried under the gums to optimize healing and after a few months, the implant will be exposed by another small incision under local anaesthetic.
After the require healing period, Dr Lim will test the implant for success with specialised equipment (Resonance Frequency Analysis) and if successfully integrated, Dr Lim will return the patient to the restorative dentist who will restore the implant(s) with a crown or bridge.