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Dental Implants – Los Gatos, CA

Lifelike, Customized Replacements for Missing Teeth

Losing your teeth is a serious problem that damages oral health, quality of life, and the beauty of your smile. If you’re looking for a solution that looks and feels natural, talk to our team at Los Gatos Dental Group about dental implants. Implants go a step beyond traditional bridges and dentures replicating the entire structure of your tooth seamlessly, so you enjoy the rejuvenation you need and the aesthetic value you deserve. In fact, you may forget they’re not your natural teeth after some time has passed!

Dr. Diercks and Dr. Karamardian all believe in the transformative power of dental implants, and we’d love to share them with you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options for tooth replacement with dental implants in Los Gatos, CA, or if you have questions about our restorative services.

Man and woman smiling after replacing missing teeth with dental implants

Why Choose Los Gatos Dental Group for Dental Implants?

  • Start-to-Finish Dental Implant Treatment
  • Dentist with Specialized Dental Implant Training
  • Cone Beam CT Scanner for Planning

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants themselves are small, titanium posts that are surgically placed below the gumline and into the jawbone to restore the missing root structure of your teeth. Due to their biocompatible nature, they’re able to undergo a process called osseointegration, where they fuse with the bone to prevent it from eroding. Once you’ve healed from the surgery, we’ll attach abutments (small metal connector pieces) onto the implants that will hold your restoration securely in place.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

Every dental implant procedure differs, because the process is customized to meet each of our patient’s individual needs. So, we’re sure to take into account every detail of your unique situation when planning out your procedure. Even though treatment can vary from patient-to-patient, there are four major steps that everybody will undergo to achieve a fully functional and beautiful new grin. You can read more about these steps by clicking the button below.

Initial Consultation & Preliminary Treatments

During the initial consultation, Dr. Diercks will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, collect any necessary imaging with our cone beam CT scanner, and discuss your medical history and any expectation you have for the treatment. Based on our diagnostic findings, you may need a preparatory treatment, like a bone graft or gum disease therapy, before you’ll be eligible to undergo surgery. After discussing what the process will be like and answering any questions you have, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to move forward with the procedure.

Dental Implant Placement

Dr. Diercks has completed additional, specialized training on the placement and restoration of dental implants, allowing our team to complete the entire process, including your surgery, under our roof. That way, you won’t have to worry about bridging gaps of communication between specialists or having to work with a team that you’re not familiar with for this part of the procedure.

Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Dental implants are made of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal that has the ability to fuse with jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This provides the bone with stimulation and blood flow to keep it from deteriorating over time as well as secures the implant in place, so it will make a stable foundation for the restoration to be attached to. Once you’ve healed from your surgery and osseointegration is complete, we’ll attach a small, metal connector piece to the implant, called an abutment.

Securing the Final Restoration

Once we receive your final restoration from our dental laboratory, we’ll make sure it fits properly and make any necessary alterations. Then, we’ll attach it to the abutments, which will secure it in place. After this step, your procedure will be complete, and you’ll be able to enjoy your new, complete, and beautiful smile!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Your decision to choose dental implants to replace your missing teeth will come with a host of advantages you may be unaware of. At Los Gatos Dental Group, our team will go over the various benefits of dental implants in Los Gatos during your initial consultation. This will allow you to envision a smile that, once complete, will function properly, last longer, and allow for a more youthful appearance. Not to mention, the level of confidence you’ll receive! When compared to traditional dentures or dental bridges, implants are far superior, so spend a few moments reviewing the list below to see what awaits as you embrace a new and improved smile.

Day-to-Day Benefits

  • No Food Restrictions: Your new implants will be secured to your jawbone, so you will be free to eat the foods you love without worrying about accidental slippage. You’ll also be able to consume a more nutrient-rich diet that benefits both your oral and overall health.
  • Enhanced Appearance: Because your new teeth will look completely natural when put into place, they will blend in with the rest of your smile, making it virtually impossible for others to notice a difference.
  • Minimal Maintenance: Dental implants in Los Gatos can be treated just like your regular teeth, and no changes to your diet are required. Just brush and floss daily, like always!
  • Ability to Live Life to the Fullest: Instead of shying away from social gatherings like many with dentures often do, you can feel confident engaging with others and smiling for the camera. With dental implants, you have the freedom to look and feel your best.

Health Benefits

  • Healthy Teeth Remain Untouched: Dental bridges require your dentist to alter healthy teeth to serve as anchors for a bridge. However, dental implants fit nicely within the vacated socket, so your existing teeth remain untouched.
  • Prevention of Jawbone Deterioration: While traditional tooth replacement options only bother with the crown (the white part) of the tooth, dental implants recreate the root as well, which has the important job of stimulating the jawbone. This allows you to avoid the threat of jawbone deterioration and eventual facial collapse.
  • No Dental Drift: The placement of dental implants eliminates the shifting of other teeth, allowing you to maintain the straight, beautiful smile you worked so hard for.
  • Improved Overall Health: Systemic diseases like osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease are often associated with tooth loss. By choosing to pursue dental implants, you will minimize your risk for more serious health-related conditions while also maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.

Long-Term Benefits

  • Successful Implant Placement: The success rate for properly placed dental implants is about 95%. That is if they are placed by a skilled implant dentist in Los Gatos. After 10 years, if maintained correctly, their success rate remains around 90-95%.
  • Long Lifespan: As long as they’re cared for properly, dental implants last 30 years, 40 years, or even for the rest of your life.
  • You Can Expect to Save: If you prefer to avoid additional dental expenses, you’ll want to choose dental implants. While they’re more expensive up front, they do not require the same level of maintenance, replacement, and product necessities as dentures or dental bridges. Ultimately, your investment will be well worth it.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Woman smiling after dental implant tooth replacement

Unlike other tooth replacement solutions and materials, high-quality titanium dental implants are not prone to decay. However, gum disease may still occur if implant supported replacement teeth are not properly cared for. Daily brushing and flossing and six-month checkups make it possible for most people to keep their implant-retained tooth replacement prosthetics for decades or even the remainder of their lifetime in many cases. We may need to replace or refit your prosthetic after years of damage or wear to ensure your smile continues to look and feel beautiful and natural.

By comparison, dental bridges need to be replaced at least every 15 years, if not sooner, and these bridges must be completely replaced. They cannot be repaired. The multiple replacements over the course of a lifetime may end up costing more than five times the cost of an implant-supported bridge and its lifetime care, maintenance, and repair. Additionally, dental implant-supported bridges do not have negative impact on surrounding healthy teeth the way traditional bridges do. When considered as a whole, dental implant-supported tooth replacement are the most cost-effective, long term solution.

Who Can Dental Implants Help?

Man and woman laughing together after dental implant tooth replacement

When dealing with individual implants, our team can restore them with dental crowns for a beautiful and conservative effect that preserves the health of surrounding teeth. However, this option can become cost-prohibitive if people need to restore a larger area of their smile. Thankfully, implant-retained prosthetics are an effective alternative. These custom restorations closely resemble dentures and bridges, but they’re designed to actually attach to your new implants, creating a more confident fit overall.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Not every person is a good candidate for dental implants right away. Some patients require preparatory procedures before they can undergo the placement surgery to ensure the most successful results. Once you possess these crucial traits for good candidates, you’ll be able to move forward with the process without having to worry about complications down the road:

Good Overall Health.

You’ll need to be able to heal from your dental implant surgery. Prolonged healing periods due to medical conditions or habits that affect your immune system can lead to the development of an infection. If you do have any conditions that would impact the process, we’ll discuss the details with you during your consultation and work with your primary care physician to ensure you’re a good candidate for dental implants.

Good Oral Health.

The key to successful dental implant treatment is good oral health. If you’re exhibiting signs of gum disease or any other oral health problems, we will recommend a treatment plan to restore your mouth to avoid dental implant failure.

Sufficient jawbone density.

If you’ve been missing teeth for several years, certain areas of your jawbone may have eroded due to the fact that they haven’t been stimulated by the roots of the teeth. If this is the case, you may require a bone graft to ensure the jawbone is dense enough to undergo successful osseointegration with the titanium implants.

Quitting or taking a break from smoking and tobacco use.

Smoking and tobacco use has been shown to increase the risk of implant failure by preventing proper osseointegration. This habit can slow down your body’s healing abilities and increase the chances of peri-implantitis, or a common infection that occurs due to poor oral hygiene or bacteria infesting the surgical site. By taking a break from smoking while you heal or quitting completely, you’ll be able to get the most out of your new smile.

Our team will walk you through the treatment plan that we map out so you know exactly what to expect throughout the process and any technical details that you’re curious about. That way, you’ll get a good idea of how we’ll restore your smile.

Animated smile with dental implant supported dental crown

Missing One Tooth

For a single missing tooth, we can fill the gap in your smile by placing a single dental implant beneath the gumline and into the jawbone. Once it fuses with the bone, we’ll place an abutment onto it that will secure a customized dental crown in place.

Animated smile with dental implant supported fixed bridge

Missing Multiple Teeth

Instead of receiving a traditional bridge that requires the alteration of your existing, healthy teeth, we can secure a bridge to two dental implants placed on either side of the gap in your grin. We can also secure a partial denture to implants as well!

Animated smile with dental implant supported denture

Missing All of Your Teeth

Are you tired of unstable traditional dentures that make eating and speaking a hassle because they slip and shift when you open your mouth? We can secure a denture to anywhere from four to eight dental implants that we place below the gumline to provide a strong foundation for your prosthetic.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Animated smile comparing dental implant supported tooth to natural teeth

The cost of getting dental implants varies from patient-to-patient due to the treatment’s customized nature. During your initial consultation, Dr. Diercks will walk you through all of the details of your plan and determine key factors, like how many dental implants you need, what type of restoration will restore your smile, and whether any preparatory procedures are necessary. Based on these details, our team will walk you through a price estimate of your treatment and discuss financing and dental insurance coverage with you.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Some patients require preliminary (or preparatory) treatments before they can undergo dental implant surgery, like bone grafts, sinus lifts, and periodontal therapy. By ensuring that your jawbone and gums are healthy, you’ll be able to drastically reduce your risk of dental implant failure. These treatments will incur their own, separate costs in addition to the dental implant surgery itself. Other factors, such as whether you receive sedation during your surgery will also be factored into the overall price of your procedure.

Materials & Dental Implant Parts

Just like when you receive traditional restorations, like dentures, you’ll be able to customize the materials and other aspects of your denture, crown, or bridge. Depending on the quality of material you choose, the cost of this part of the treatment can change. In addition, the number of teeth that you’re missing will determine two key, cost-determining factors, like how many dental implants you need to have placed and what type of restoration you need. For example, someone replacing a single tooth will only need to have one dental implant placed and a customized crown crafted, while an entire arch of missing teeth will require anywhere from four to eight dental implants and a complete, customized denture.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Unfortunately, it’s rarely if ever the case that dental insurance companies cover the cost of dental implants. This is because they still consider the procedure to be “cosmetic,” despite its ability to preserve jawbone density and improve overall oral health and the complete function of the mouth. Our team will happily file claims on your behalf and help you maximize any benefits that you may have for this procedure. In some cases, insurance companies may cover a portion of the cost of the restoration or any sedation required, but that depends on your specific coverage.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Our team at Los Gatos Dental Group partners with a trusted, third-party financer, called CareCredit, to offer additional financing and monthly payment plans to patients so they can do what’s best for their oral health without blowing their monthly budget out of the water. CareCredit is incredibly flexible, allowing their financing to meet virtually any budget’s needs. For questions or to learn how to apply, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dental office!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Close-up of woman outside and smiling

It’s ultimately up to you to make sure that your dental implants are properly maintained. Luckily, this isn’t difficult; if you already do a good job of taking care of your real teeth, then protecting your dental implants won’t be much different. Here’s a brief guide for good dental implant maintenance. If you would like further advice, don’t be afraid to ask one of our team members the next time you visit our office.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Why do you need to brush your dental implants if they can’t get cavities? The answer is simple: the implant posts are still being held in place by organic tissue. If you don’t keep your dental implants clean, the tissues around them could become infected. So whenever you brush your teeth (which you should do at least twice a day for two minutes at a time), you should give your dental implants the same level of attention that you give the rest of your mouth. Don’t forget to floss around the area.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet that’s high in sugar and starch can significantly increase your risk for gum disease. If you want to maintain healthy gums – and thus protect your dental implants – then you should try to eat more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium and vitamin C, both of which are considered vital nutrients for keeping the mouth healthy.

Break Bad Habits

Maybe you sometimes chew your fingernails when you get nervous, or perhaps you might resort to using your teeth if you’re having a hard time opening a package. These are some examples of common habits that can eventually cause problems for dental implants (and your other teeth) if you don’t break them as soon as possible. If you’re not sure about what kind of habits can put your implants at risk, feel free to ask our team for examples.

Protect Your Dental Implants

You can’t always predict when you’ll get hit in the mouth, but at the very least you can wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports. Wearing the right protective gear on the court or field could make all the difference when it comes to keeping your dental implants safe.

Also, if there are any signs that you have bruxism, you should get in the habit of sleeping with a nightguard. Your dental implants will have a longer life expectancy if they’re not exposed to the excessive forces of clenching and grinding every night.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups  

In addition to placing dental implants, we can also make sure that they’re still in good shape! Remember to visit our office every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning. As part of our examination of your mouth, we’ll check your dental implants and the tissues around them to make sure there aren’t any problems.

Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions

Animated parts of a dental implant supported dental crown restoration

Do you have questions about caring for your dental implants, the process of getting them, or whether you’re a good candidate? Our team has all of the answers you need, just reach out to us. Or, you can read our answers to some of the most common questions that we receive from our patients.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

Every dental implant treatment varies depending on the patient’s individual needs. During your initial consultation, Dr. Diercks will thoroughly examine your mouth and gather all necessary diagnostic information, like digital X-rays or a cone beam CT image, and map out a detailed treatment plan based on his findings. He’ll also discuss your goals for the procedure before walking you through the process step-by-step, so you know exactly what to expect. For some patients who require preparatory treatments that need extra healing time, getting dental implants could take up to a year or longer, while for others, it could only take about six months. Patients who invest the time and money into this treatment often agree that the results were well worth it!

Are dental implants hard to take care of?

No! In fact, dental implants are so similar to the structure of your natural teeth, that you’re able to care for them in almost the exact same way. That means you won’t need to alter your daily routine much after your treatment. With the proper daily and routine maintenance, you could enjoy your new smile for over 35 years! Here are some important practices you’ll want to do after you get your implants to take care of them:

  • Brush twice each day for two minutes and floss at least once each day.
  • Visit Dr. Diercks every six months for a checkup and cleaning.
  • Be mindful of eating excessively sticky, hard, or chewy foods.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid using your teeth to open packages, rip off price tags, etc.

Do you need to be missing a certain number of teeth to get dental implants?

Dental implants can restore any number of teeth, so you don’t need to be missing a certain amount to be able to benefit from them!

What makes a good implant dentist?

Dr. Diercks knows what makes a good dental implant dentist in Los Gatos because he is one! He has completed countless hours of continuing education courses and specialized training focused on the placement and restoration of dental implants. He’s also a clinical instructor for Western Surgical and Sedation!