FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom tooth removal is a simple, routine surgical procedure that can be performed comfortably in one office visit. It can be removed either via simple wisdom tooth extraction or in the case of an impacted wisdom tooth it can be removed via a wisdom tooth surgery. In the case of simple wisdom tooth extraction, the wisdom tooth is extracted without any need for surgery and the procedure is done under local anesthesia. In an impacted wisdom tooth or difficult wisdom tooth extraction, wisdom tooth surgery is performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. In local anesthesia, the surgeon will administer local anesthetic and proceed with the surgery once the surgical site is numb. An incision will be made at the surgical site and the bone and tooth exposed. The bone may need to be removed in some cases to enable the wisdom tooth to be elevated and the wisdom tooth may need to be sectioned or cut to facilitate the removal. Once the impacted wisdom tooth is successfully delivered, the surgical site will be irrigated and cleansed.
Our dentist will take a dental X-ray and perform thorough examination so as to assess the condition of your wisdom teeth and make recommendations on whether they should be removed. An x-ray will confirm the number of wisdom teeth in a person’s mouth, indicate whether any of these teeth are unerupted and allows full radiographic examination of the upper and lower jaw architecture and all the existing teeth.

The risks and benefits of wisdom teeth removal will be explained and discussed.

Impacted wisdom tooth may grow at a wrong angle and into neighbouring tooth or stop growing while only partially emerged from the gum. This can result in pain and swelling if infected or tooth decay due to trapped food. The damage may extend to the adjacent healthy teeth and the surrounding jawbones. Impacted wisdom teeth can also develop into cysts, abscess and tumours.
It is common for an impacted wisdom tooth to show no significant symptoms and it is difficult to predict when an impacted tooth may cause problems, which normally happens later in life. Very often, we see the condition of the good tooth in front of an impacted wisdom tooth deteriorate due to the position of the wisdom tooth. If the wisdom tooth is deeply embedded, it may be possible to leave it and review with x-rays regularly. An asymptomatic deeply embedded wisdom tooth may turn into a cyst and will require a more extensive surgery to remove the tooth.
It is recommended that wisdom teeth are removed during teenage years or in the early 20s. People in this age group recover faster.
The procedure normally takes approximately 15 to 45 minutes, including preparation time.
It is a safe procedure. Due to the location of the wisdom teeth, a rare complication is numbness of the tongue, lip or chin. This happens very rarely and when it does it is usually temporary.
Wisdom teeth are usually non-functional. You will not suffering from lack of chewing ability because of wisdom teeth removal.
You can resume normal daily activities within a few hours.
In some cases, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort. It is crucial to take the prescribed medication and following our post-surgery care instructions for a speedy recovery.
  1. Infection: Most are minor and will subside with local incision and drainage, and antibiotics. The whole course of antibiotics should be completed.
  2. Tooth root fracture: The roots may be retrieved or left in situ. The dentist may decide to leave the root in situ if there is no pathology or if the root is very close to the nerve or at an unfavourable anatomical site.
  3. Dry socket: This occurs when blood clot is dislodged from the extraction site and bone is exposed in the early healing stage. It is usually seen in women on oral contraceptive pills and smokers. If you experience a constant throbbing pain that lasts for many days, contact the dentist.
  4. Numbness or altered sensation: An impacted lower wisdom tooth may be close to the nerve. When the nerve is injured during extraction, it will usually heal. Bruising of the nerve may cause numbness, tingling and loss of feeling in teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue, chin and gum and it may be temporary or permanent.
  5. Displaced tooth: In some cases, an impacted tooth may be displaced into the sinus and the different spaces around the jaw.
  6. Jaw fracture
Please refer to Oral Surgery: Post-Surgery Care

Gum Treatment

Gum treatment may involve the following procedures:

  1. Scaling and root planing is a deep-cleaning, non-surgical procedure, done under local anesthetic, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are removed and rough spots on teeth roots are made smooth. Smoothening rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to re-attach to the teeth. After the procedure, you may feel some discomfort for up to 48 hours.
  2. Gum (Periodontal) surgery is recommended when there is a significant separation between the gum and the teeth. In this procedure, the gums are carefully reflected aside to reveal the true extent of infected calculus. In some cases, the shape of the bone around the infected teeth is shaped to speed up healing. In other cases, the bone and gum tissues can be re-created.
  3. Gum and bone grafting may be performed to repair damaged gums and jawbone when the gums around the teeth have receded. Bone grafting can enhance areas of deficient bone to facilitate dental implant placement.
Depending on the severity of the gum problems, usually 2 or more visits are required. Simpler procedures take about 30 minutes. More complex procedures take up to 2 hours. If scaling and root planing is followed by gum surgery, the procedure may be spread out over several weeks to aid wound healing.
Most of our patients can resume normal daily activities within a few hours after our procedure. The less invasive procedures allow you to resume normal activities rapidly. However, the more extensive surgery may require some rest.
Pain after the procedure is uncommon. Pain occurring after a procedure is usually a result of pre-existing infection. If you do experience pain, please take the prescribed medication by our dentist.
Gum bleeding is commonly caused by gingivitis (gum inflammation) and can be controlled by regular dental check-up and cleaning. A routine dental check-up will also help rule out other non-dental related causes of gum bleeding.
People in their twenties should be examined by a periodontist at least once every 4 years. People in their thirties or older, a periodontal examination should be done once in 3 years. This is in addition to other routine dental check-ups. Periodontal disease does not cause pain in the early years and it is most easily treated when discovered early. Scaling and root planing should be continued every 3-6 months to maintain healthy gums.
Research has shown that untreated gum disease is correlated to diabetes, heart and blood vessel diseases, stroke, pregnancy complications, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and some types of cancers. Mouth infections may also increase the risk for those who are undergoing other types of surgery. For example, patients with heart valve defects are commonly warned by their doctors to take antibiotics before dental or surgical procedures so that the bacterial disruption in their mouth will not travel through the bloodstream to infect the heart valve.
Regular brushing, flossing twice daily and regular visits to the dentist for scaling and polishing twice a year is recommended. When gingivitis is present, a thorough scaling and root planning by the dentist followed by good ome care will keep the gum disease in check. If there are misaligned teeth or crowded front teeth, orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment can be helpful. Impacted wisdom teeth that do not enough room to erupt are also best removed early to minimize the occurrences of gum inflammation or tooth decay. Prevention is better than cure. By the time the supporting bone around the teeth is lost, extensive gum treatment by a periodontist will be needed.
Before any treatment can be recommended, the cause of these exceptionally long teeth must be determined. Our dentist will perform a thorough dental examination and X-rays needs to be taken to assess the dental condition and rule out any underlying problems. Gum disease is seldom symptomatic but can show up as exceptionally long teeth in which the bone and gums that support these teeth are destroyed, resulting in more root surfaces being exposed and longer looking teeth. If the diagnosis is receding gums, one option is gum grafting where gum tissue is added to the receded area. If the gums are healthy, full ceramic crowns may be prescribed to shorten those teeth. However, root canal treatment may be required if the teeth are to be shortened substantially. Braces may be another solution to align your front teeth to the same level. Our dentist will discuss the various options, their risks and benefits to you so that the most appropriate treatment can be prescribed.

Conventional Dental Braces

At an orthodontic consultation, our dentist will evaluate your problem and explain the details of the treatment required. X-rays, impressions and photos of the teeth are taken to help in an accurate diagnosis and planning of the treatment and type of braces for you. Subsequent appointments involve insertion of the braces. This may take between 1-3 visits to complete depending on the type of braces. After the braces are inserted, you will see our orthodontist every 4-8 weeks to have your braces adjusted.
Treatment with fixed braces usually takes between 2-3 years, although total treatment time will vary according to the complexity of the condition.
You can resume your normal daily activities right after the treatment. Speech may be affected initially as some patients take a day or two to get used to the fixed braces in the mouth. Avoid biting on hard pieces of food (e.g. biting into an apple) to prevent dislodgement of your braces.
You may experience some discomfort and general feeling of tightness as teeth are being shifted. After a few days, the discomfort lessens as you get used to them and as your teeth get straighter with time.Occasionally, the inner side of your cheeks or lips may get an ulcer from rubbing against the braces which can be quickly and easily relieved with orthodontic wax. If the ulcer is severe, please inform our orthodontist and schedule for an earlier appointment.
Braces need a series of appointments to complete. For predictable results, you have to ensure you keep to your scheduled appointments and brush your teeth well. Maintenance of adequate oral hygiene is crucial and regular professional dental cleaning every 3-6 months is 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.
Your braces are applied to your teeth with special “tooth glue”, which means that in rare occurrences brackets can dislodge themselves after your braces are applied. Please call our clinic if this happens and we will re-affix your brace.
It depends on the crowdedness of your teeth. Sometimes, teeth can be aligned without the need for extractions. In some situations, extraction is needed to create space for aligning crooked teeth properly and achieving good overall treatment outcome.
After your orthodontic treatment is completed, your braces are removed. You will need to wear your retainers to maintain your teeth in their corrected positions and prevent relapse (teeth moving out of alignment). Retainers can be removable or fixed onto the back of your teeth. Our orthodontist will prescribe the best design for you. The removable retainers have to be worn full time daily for the first six months, followed by night time wear and this is reduced over time. Keep your retainers clean with simple brushing using a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinse with cool water. A dental follow-up every 6 months helps to maintain optimal treatment results and overall dental health. Follow-ups can be done during your regular professional dental cleaning.
Reasons for orthodontic treatment may be aesthetic, functional or a combination of both. Aesthetic reasons include crowded teeth, gaps between teeth or teeth that are misaligned. Functional reasons include speech difficulties, chewing difficulties, discomfort caused by biting of gums, lips or cheeks, impacted teeth that affect cleaning and predispose teeth to decay and gum disease, and jaw length problems. Please consult our orthodontist for a proper assessment.
The best time to start orthodontic treatment is after all their milk teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth. This is usually between 12-14 years of age. In some situations, our orthodontist may advise you to start treatment earlier due to functional or jaw growth problems.
It is never too late to have braces as long as your gums are in good condition.
Orthodontic treatment typically takes 1-2 years to complete. Alternatively, veneers may be suitable for people with busy schedules. Veneers treatment requires minor adjustment to the natural teeth. In a few days, the completed new teeth may be bonded onto to the natural teeth. The overall process typically takes only a few days to complete. In addition, veneers can dramatically enhance the color of the teeth to any color shade one desires. The overall treatment cost of veneers is higher than that of braces and not everyone is suitable for veneers.
Gaps can be closed through various methods. There are multiple variables in treating gaps and our dentist will need to assess the cause and nature of the gaps, the location and the size of the gaps so that a comprehensive treatment can be prescribed. Braces are more versatile to address gaps between teeth as braces can close gaps of various sizes and positions, and re-distribute the remaining gaps for an aesthetic filling. Braces can also be combined with composite resin bonding. With composite resin bonding, a tooth-colored filling is added to the teeth to make them bigger so as to close the spaces. Composite resin bonding only works when the gaps are small and symmetrical on both sides. Porcelain veneers may also be another option.

Teeth Whitening

The main difference between over-the-counter whitening kits and professionally dispensed products is in the mode of application and concentration of the whitening gels used. Professionally dispensed gels are of a higher concentration and deliver a more predictable and noticeable result. In-office whitening is the most effective, safest and fastest method. Your teeth can be whitened within 1 hour and the effects are almost immediate. Some people may prefer to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their home. In such cases, the patient can opt for “take-home” teeth whitening procedure whereby a prescription-strength gel kit is provided by the dentist. The gel-filled tray may be worn at home for 1-2 hours a day for 14-21 consecutive days to see whitening results. Another option, which is less expensive, is the over-the-counter whitening kit. At-home teeth whitening results are typically not as satisfactory as those achieved with in-office whitening. Many types of toothpaste come with whitening properties. Toothpaste whitening is an inexpensive but relatively ineffective whitening option.
No. Teeth whitening products work best on natural teeth that are completely sound with no fillings or crowns. Teeth with deep stains caused by antibiotics may see very little improvement. People with gum recession and exposed roots, worn out teeth or faulty fillings may feel sensitivity. It is advisable to consult our dentist to find out which method is best for you.
Teeth whitening is a safe procedure for pregnant or nursing mothers. There are no studies to indicate that teeth whitening pose any risks to a developing foetus. It is completely safe for new mothers to use whitening gels whilst still nursing.
Caution is generally taken when carrying out teeth whitening procedures on children as their permanent teeth may not be fully developed.
The procedure can remove tetracycline stains. However, depending on severity of the stains, it may not be possible to remove all of the stains.
Singapore Ministry of Health regulations do not allow us to display any “before and after” photos of patients on our website.
You should be able to resume daily activities immediately. Our dentist will advise you to avoid food and drink that could stain your teeth for about a week and refrain from smoking.
Teeth whitening procedures are normally painless. Some people may experience a minor dull ache and temporary teeth sensitivity. It is best to avoid very hot or cold drinks for the first 24 hours if there is any tooth sensitivity. A desensitizing gel is provided in the take-home kit and this can be used to address any sensitivity post treatment. Other common side effects include irritation of gingival tissues, white patches on the gum line, mouth ulcers and sore throat. If you have any concerns regarding the side effects, you should discuss them with our dentist.
Teeth whitening is an extremely safe and straightforward procedure. The most common side effect experienced is sensitivity. The intensity of sensitivity varies from patient to patient.
After your treatment, our dentist will advise you on how to maintain that new white smile. The effect of whitening can last from several months up to 3 years. This can vary for each patient depending on their lifestyles, e.g. smoking habits, drinking coffee, tea or red wine that can potentially stain teeth.
In order to maintain the whitening effect, it is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene (brush and floss after every meal) and steer clear of tobacco use, food and drinks that discolour the teeth (coffee, tea, red wine, soft drinks). One way to avoid future staining is to use a straw.

Damon System

With the Damon System, we don’t just align the teeth; we create beautiful smiles. Your Damon orthodontist takes into account a number of factors when first diagnosing your smile. Each individual’s face, profile and other factors are import in anticipating what they will look like in their 40s, 50s and beyond. The Damon System is designed to deliver results for a lifetime.
Treatment time with the Damon System is typically much faster than with conventional braces. Also, far fewer appointments are required during treatment.
No. In fact, what makes the Damon System work so quickly is that it uses far gentler, more biologically sensible forces than conventional braces. The low-friction nature of the system assures improved tooth position and improved facial harmony. Very light “shape memory” titanium wires are used that gently guide your teeth to their ideal position. Many people experience very little discomfort.
Very light “shape memory” titanium wires are used that gently guide your teeth to their ideal position. Many people experience very little discomfort.
Damon System metal braces are available in two materials, stainless steel or polycarbonate for exceptional strength and durability.
Damon System offers several types of archwires that come in varying materials and sizes as well as a nickel free solution. Talk to your Orthodontist to determine which solution is best for your treatment.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment usually takes 1 to 2 visits (one week apart if 2 visits are required)depending on the complexity of the case. At the first visit, the endodontist will examine the tooth and take an x-ray to determine whether a root canal treatment is indicated.Local anesthetic is administered at the site of the tooth to be treated. During the root canal treatment, the endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and disinfects to remove all bacteria and shapes the inside of the root canal. The cavity left is then filled and sealed to prevent future microbial infection. After the endodontist is satisfied with the results of the root canal treatment, the dentist will then place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to prevent leakage of bacteria into the tooth and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth looks and functions like any other tooth.
You can immediately resume normal daily activities on the same day. However, please do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until it is restored by the dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, see the dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible.
Root canal treatment is performed to relieve the toothache due to inflammation or infection of the tooth pulp. It is usually carried out under local anaesthesia so there is no pain during the treatment. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. It is crucial to take the prescribed medication.
Most last as long as other natural teeth. In cases when a root canal-treated tooth does not heal or the pain continues, further treatment (e.g. root end surgery) may be necessary. Occasionally, the tooth may become painful or infected after successful treatment. This is usually due to new decay or leakage problems. If this occurs, re-doing the root canal treatment can salvage the tooth.

Dental Crowns

It usually takes 2 visits to complete this procedure, assuming that root canal treatment is not required. At the first visit, the dentist will assess if you need to have a root canal treatment on the tooth. Root canal treatment is recommended where there is extensive decay or risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp. About 1mm of the tooth is trimmed to make space for the final crown. An impression is taken along with a record of the tooth shade for fabrication in the laboratory. A temporary crown is placed on the prepared tooth. On the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the final crown is tried to ensure excellent fit and aesthetic. After the try-in, the final crown is cemented onto the tooth permanently.
You can resume normal daily activities within 2 hours. Normal eating can be resumed almost immediately.
Local anaesthesia is used to numb the gum before we start work on the tooth. This should minimize painful sensations. You should not feel any pain or discomfort after the procedure. However, if your tooth has not undergone root canal treatment, you may experience some mild sensitivity. It is crucial to take the prescribed medication.
With proper daily home care and regular dental check-up, crowns can last between 8 to 12 years. Clean between your crowns and teeth and floss to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth.
Crowns are indicated when there is a need to strengthen teeth that are mechanically weakened. If a tooth has part of its structure damaged by decay or fracture, crowns are the best treatment as they can restore teeth to their normal shape and size. If a tooth is cracked, the crown holds the tooth together. Veneers are thin porcelain coverings that are bonded onto the tooth exterior. Both crowns and veneers may be used for modifying colours or position of teeth. The gums around the teeth must be good health before crowns and veneer treatments. Crowns or veneers cannot treat gum problems. Consult a dentist to assess whether crowns or veneers are suitable for you and whether you need to address any existing gum problems.
Temporary dental crowns are used as a short-term fix until a permanent crown is ready to be fitted on the tooth. When you have a temporary crown, avoid sticky, chewy and hard food which could dislodge or break the crown. Minimize use of the side of your mouth with the temporary crown. Try to chew more on the other side of your mouth.
In the past, metal was the main material used to make crowns and this often shows through, creating a dark edge. Now, crowns are made of high quality porcelain which blends seamlessly with your natural teeth.

Bridges

Your teeth next to the missing teeth must be in good health and you have healthy gums. If healthy adjacent teeth are not available, a dental implant may be a better alternative. Sometimes, root canal treatment may be recommended when there is extensive tooth decay.
It usually takes 2 visits to complete this procedure. During your first visit, our dentist will assess if the teeth next to the missing teeth are in good health. About 1 mm of tooth structure is removed from the supporting teeth and an impression of the teeth is taken to fabricate the bridge. While the bridge is being fabricated, a temporary bridge is cemented to the adjacent teeth to protect the supporting teeth. During your second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the bridge is cemented permanently to the natural teeth either side of the space left by the missing tooth and a pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. The whole procedure can be completed between 3 to 7 days.
You can resume normal daily activities within a few hours.
Local anaesthesia is used to numb the gum before the procedure to minimize painful sensations. After the procedure, you should not feel any pain or discomfort. You may experience mild sensitivity to extreme hot or cold temperatures in the mouth for a few weeks after the bridge is attached.
Careful daily brushing and flossing all areas around the bridge are essential. It is necessary to use a special type of floss called “Superfloss” to go underneath the pontic and keep the gum tissue healthy. Maintain regular dental check-ups every 6 months.
With proper care, bridges can last at least 8 to 10 years.
Leaving gaps untreated can lead to further deterioration of your oral health. Gum disease and tooth decay are more likely to occur. In addition, empty spaces may cause the teeth to shift out of their proper position. Some people may have difficulty in chewing and speaking when they have missing teeth. These can be overcome with a bridge.
Unlike a denture which you can remove to clean, bridges are cemented to your teeth and cannot be removed.

Denture Treatments

Denture requires about 3-5 visits, depending on the type of denture. During the first visit, the prosthodontist takes measurements and dental impression of your mouth. The second visit measures and customizes the bite and height of the denture. During your third visit, the prosthodontist makes all necessary amendments and adjustments to ensure your denture fit well. The denture is ready for collection on the fourth visit.
You can resume your daily activities immediately. Follow the instructions regarding the insertion and removal of your denture. Do not use too much force in removing your denture. Learning to eat with denture takes practice and time. You may have to cut foods into smaller pieces and chew slowly. Although denture can improve chewing function as opposed to no teeth, it is not possible to achieve the same efficiency as natural teeth. Until you get used to sensing the temperature of hot food, avoid sticky, sharp food. As you gain confidence and ability in using your denture, you can experiment with foods of different textures.
There will be no pain but you may find that it takes some time to get adapted to your new denture. Over the first few days, you may feel a tight sensation. The denture may feel bulky and your mouth can potentially feel “crowded”. Your gums may feel sore. You may experience a gagging sensation or notice an increase in saliva. You may initially experience minor speech changes and eating difficulties. This will improve over time. You may start with soft food that is easy to chew as your comfort level improves. Continue to use your denture to get used to it. It is common for lower dentures to need more time getting used to as opposed to upper dentures. Often the retention of lower dentures tends to be poorer as compared to upper dentures. This is due to the nature of the muscles and bone quality of your lower jaw. If sore areas in your gums persist, please discontinue its use and contact the dentist for an adjustment appointment.
Do not attempt to adjust your own denture. These custom-made appliances have been carefully made to fit your mouth. Home adjustments tend to lead to more harm than good. Do not glue the parts together because the wrong glue can damage your denture. Do not attempt to fix the clasp as this could result in breakage. Contact the dentist for an adjustment appointment.
A well maintained denture can last for decades. As the gums will change shape over time, it is recommended that denture be replaced every 3-5 years.
Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your denture to stimulate circulation in your tissues and remove plaque. It is important to remove your denture before going to bed to allow your gums to rest. Soak the denture in a glass of water. Dry denture can become brittle and crack. Clean your denture after each meal or at least twice a day by rinsing it with warm or cold water. The use of mouthwash is optional. Brush both the inside and outside of the denture with a soft bristle toothbrush with gentle soap or approved denture cleaner. Do this over a basin of water to avoid breakage if dropped. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or toothpastes, which will leave scratches on the denture. Do not put the denture in hot water as it may warp. Maintain regular check-ups at the dentist after getting your denture. The dentist will ensure your denture is in good condition and the remaining teeth (if any) and gums are healthy. A fungal infection (candida albicans) can develop in the gums if there is inadequate denture hygiene or you fail to remove your denture at night. It is essential to follow through with these check-ups to prevent any loss of teeth, teeth decay or gum disease.

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