Dr Lim is specially trained in advanced surgical dental implantology in Sweden. He is one of very few Singapore Oral & maxillofacial Surgeons to be given the opportunity to spend a year in Sweden to learn the finer surgical aspects of dental implant surgery. He was attached to three different Swedish hospitals to learn the intricacies of dental implant surgery from the Swedish pioneers of dental implants. The hospitals Dr Lim spent time in were international training centres for the world’s most established and prestigious implant company, www.nobelbiocare.com . Dr Lim Kheng Ann was one of NobelBiocare’s team key opinion leaders and professional speakers. He has spoken for NobelBiocare in conferences in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China. Dr Lim was also a professional speaker for AstraTech dental implant system and conducts regular courses for local dental surgeons.
Dr Lim was the first to perform the “Teeth In An Hour” dental implant procedure in Singapore back in 2005.. He appeared on Channel News Asia as the first surgeon in South East Asia to perform this surgery. He was invited to Hong Kong in 2006 to perform this surgery to a “live” audience in the NobelBiocare World Tour series in 2008.
Dr Debbie Hong and Dr Teo Kai Wen are also well trained in Dental Implant surgeries. Its is part and parcel of their formalised Oral & Maxillofacial surgical training. Dental implant surgeries as well as pre-implant bone grafting procedures are routine work for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. It is through rigorous training and guidance under experienced senior surgeons, and many hours of practice and logging of a pre-requisite number of cases before an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon can graduate with the Master’s degree. Hence, such surgeries are best carried out by Specialist Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Dental implants were discovered in the nineteen sixties. It is used to replace missing teeth as a “standalone” structure. Unlike dentures, dental implants need not and cannot be removed by the patient and hence behaves like natural dentition. Unlike dental bridges, dental implants do not require the trimming of neighbouring teeth. It is therefore less destructive to the adjacent dental structures.
In general, when assessing the suitability for dental implants, medical history is taken and must be cleared. There are some relative and absolute contraindications for dental implants. Patients on IV Biphosphonates for example are not suitable for dental implants. Patients who smoke and are diabetic have a lesser chance of success in dental implant treatment. There are other factors affecting dental implant success like nocturnal grinding and poor oral hygiene. All these can be discussed with the surgeons and the treatment plan formulated to suit the individual patients.
The dental condition and overall dental assessment has to be done before more specific investigations like Xrays and Ct scans are done. Once it has been ascertained that the patient is suitable for dental implants, the surgery will then be planned.
The standard protocol will involve a first step of surgery to place the dental implant (Fixture installation). In most cases the dental implant is buried and left to heal for three months. This will be followed by another minor procedure to expose the dental implant (abutment connection). After this step, the mould is taken and the prosthetic teeth fabricated. The teeth will be ready in a fortnight and fitted onto the dental implants.
For patients who are apprehensive about such procedures, our clinic offers IV sedation. This is a very comfortable and economical alternative to general anaesthesia. Our patients get the benefit of sleeping throughout the surgery without the need to stay in the hospital.
Regular follow up will be carried out to ensure good maintenance and longevity of the dental implants.