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Lakshmy Sudeep, D.D.S.

(408) 225-4158
6950 Santa Teresa Blvd., Suite #D
San Jose, CA 95119

Implants

Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has infused with your bone it can be used to support a crown, bridge or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures. The success rates for dental implants are extremely high which is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. The initial cost is generally higher for an implant over other forms of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the difference in additional cost. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth.

Implant Benefits

There are many benefits to receiving a dental implant over other forms of treatment:

- Neighboring teeth do not have to be compromised
- Implants allow you to keep your jaw structure
- They look and feel like natural teeth
- Dental Implants can replace partials and are used to secure loose dentures

There are actually two phases to implant dentistry.


Phase 1: Using very accurate surgical techniques, an incision is made in the gum tissues and implants are placed into dimensionally controlled sites (depth and width) in the jawbone.


First, the gum tissue is opened and the jaw bone is tapped with a small drill and then drilled with a wider drill. The implant is inserted into place. The gum tissues are then closed and the healing phase begins. This may take anywhere from 3-6 months to ensure a strong base.


Phase 2: An abutment is secured to the top of the implant placing a new tooth crown onto the implant abutment. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or your dentures.

Dental Implants - Replace Multiple Teeth

In cases where various teeth are missing or have been extracted, several dental implants can be used to bring back your smile. Dental implants are placed into the jawbone and are given time to heal. After the bone has healed around the implants, an abutment is attached to the implant which then allows for a crown or bridge to be placed right on the implant. These new teeth will look and act just like natural teeth.

Are multiple dental implants right for you? In San Jose ask Dr. Sudeep about replacing missing, extracted or failing teeth with dental implants.

In cases where multiple teeth are missing or have been extracted, multiple implants can be used to bring back your smile. The implants are placed into the jawbone and are given time to heal. After the bone has healed around the implants, an abutment is attached to the implant which then allows for a crown or bridge to be placed right on the implant. These new teeth will look and act just like natural teeth.

Ask Dr. Sudeep, a popular implant dentist in San Jose, if dental implants are right for you.

In many circumstances all of the upper or lower remaining teeth need to be removed due to advanced periodontal disease and/or dental decay. One approach is a full upper or lower plate; however, this treatment modality is not recommended. The treatment of choice is to replace the upper or lower teeth with caps that are in place permanently and supported by dental implants. A common goal of treatment is to have (twelve teeth-caps) supported by eight implants. The four caps that are not supported by the implants are connected to adjacent implant supported caps. With this optimal approach, the maximum amount of bone is preserved.

An MDI mini implant is an implant used to provide better denture stability in patients that cannot handle standard implant surgery, do not have enough bone to support a standard implant or are going from one prosthetic system to another due to continuing therapy.

The top of an MDI implant is shaped like a ball that allows a rubber o-ring to snap in over the ball when the denture is placed onto it. These types of implants can usually be placed in one or two office visits because there is no waiting on the jawbone to heal. In most situations the patient can walk out with their dentures the same day they receive their implants.

BIOMET 3i OSSEOTITE ® and NanoTite™ Dental Implants are intended for immediate function on single tooth and/or multiple tooth applications when good primary stability is achieved, with appropriate occlusal loading, in order to restore chewing function.

Contraindications: Placement of dental implants may be precluded by patient conditions that are contraindications for surgery. BIOMET 3i Dental Implants should not be placed in patients where the remaining jaw bone is too diminished to provide adequate implant stability.

For more than twenty years, Nobel Biocare dental implants have been produced from chemically unchanged variants of commercially pure titanium. They are cold-worked for exceptional strength and durability, and all feature TiUnite, our proprietary surface that produces benefits in implant stability and bone formation.

NobelGuide Implant Surgery Planning software allows us to take the information from I -CAT scan of a patient's mouth and perform virtual surgery on the computer before taking a patient into the actual surgery. The NobelGuide system means you can now replace missing teeth with permanent dental implants easily, quickly and comfortably. Only NobelGuide gives you beautiful Teeth-in-an-hour.

With conventional treatment you have to wait for your implants to heal before teeth are placed, which can take months. Nobel Guide gives you your new teeth right away. You may be able to eat immediately after the treatment. Not only does it reduce the number of visits to your dentist, you also spend less time there. Best of all, no recovery period is needed after treatment, so you can return to your active life immediately.

The decision to replace missing teeth with dental implants is an excellent investment in your oral health and appearance. Dental implants are now the standard of care for missing teeth. Better than crown and bridge, they look, feel and function like natural teeth. They help prevent bone loss caused by a missing tooth root and do not require the adjacent teeth to be ground down.

Long-term research has shown that Straumann implants have a high success rate. Straumann values quality and reliability, and Straumann implants are backed by over 30 years of scientific evidence.


Buser D et al. 10-year survival and success rates of 511 titanium implants with a sandblasted and acid-etched surface: a retrospective study in 303 partially edentulous patients. Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2012 Dec;14(6):839-51.

This implant technique, is the optimal solution for those who have lost or are about to lose all of their upper and/or lower teeth. It's a procedure that comes closest to having a new set of permanent teeth.

If you are missing one or more teeth and in general good health, you are a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are a few qualifying factors that need to be addressed:

1. Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement.

2. Uncontrollable diabetes or other medical conditions.

Overall, there are very few conditions that would keep someone from having implant treatment. Even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment; although, an additional procedure(s) to add bone or to create new bone may be necessary. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for most people who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant treatment.

Every patient's situation is unique; however, from time-to-time we can use an existing denture by altering the denture to accommodate the necessary denture attachments to fit the implants.

What is the difference between a traditional crown and bridge and an implant supported crown and bridge?


There are several differences.

  1. A dental implant preserves jaw bone.
  2. With an implant supported bridge, we do not have to destroy neighboring healthy teeth by grinding them down to pegs in order to accept a crown.
  3. Implants last longer than traditional crown and bridge. Implants are designed to last a lifetime, while a traditional crown and bridge is projected to last approximately 10 years and may need to be replaced.

Although dental implants have become the standard of care, they are more expensive than old tooth replacement methods. They are a better choice for the money; however, some dentists still recommend the traditional tooth supported bridges for patients due to their own comfort level, or when patients insist on having the immediate lowest possible fee for tooth replacement. Most dentists today detest the idea of grinding down perfectly healthy teeth to place a traditional bridge, and therefore, will almost always recommend dental implant treatment in these cases.

When should a tooth be extracted and replaced with a Dental Implant?

There are times when it makes sense to extract a tooth and replace it with a dental implant.
1. If a natural tooth is failing or about to fail.

2. If a tooth has severe periodontal disease (gum disease) that has eroded the bone that supports teeth. Sometimes in these cases, it is preferable to extract the teeth; eliminate the disease and infection and replace the teeth with a dental implant.

3. When a tooth has had a root canal (nerves have been removed from the tooth) leaving the tooth brittle and susceptible to fracture. Teeth with severe fractures are usually extracted and are ideal candidates for replacement with dental implant treatment.

Dental implants are designed to be permanent; however, there are a few factors that may contribute to the long term success of dental implant treatment, such as the original quality of the surgical and restorative treatment, proper home care and regular check-up visits to your dentist or dental specialist. Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in the medical-dental field, with documented success rates over 95%. Dental implants have been around for over 30 years and have closely documented clinical research that demonstrates that dental implants will be successful throughout the lifetime of a patient. By comparison, research also demonstrates that the average tooth supported bridge (conventional dentistry) lasts from 7-10 years and that partials and dentures are functional for approximately 5 years before having to replace the appliance.

Traditional treatment may take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending upon the quality of the bone in which the implants are placed. If an additional procedure is required in order to augment the bone, the total treatment time may be between six to nine months. Some implant candidates may qualify for Immediate Load / Immediate Function procedures, also known as "same day implants".

A single tooth supported by an implant is like turning back the clock of time. The implant replaces the natural tooth root so the jaw bone and supportive gum tissue is as vibrant as ever. Multiple single implants may support single teeth or an implant supported bridge. Dental implants may also support the base for full arch dentures to attach to which provides the look, feel and function of natural teeth. Dental implant treatments is the only tooth replacement solution that prevents jaw bone resorption, which can cause your smile to look unnatural and in some cases, change your facial appearance. The long term esthetics of dental implants are superior to any other treatment option.

Most implant patients report that the discomfort is far less than they expected and is no more remarkable than having a root canal or having a tooth extracted. Of course, you are anesthetized during the procedure, and although everyone's pain tolerance is different, most patients are very comfortable simply taking over-the-counter analgesics afterward.

Dental insurance coverage of implant treatment depends on your individual policy. Dental benefits are determined by the amount an employer is willing to spend on the policy. Generally, dental policies cover basic routine preventive maintenance, basic care and emergencies. Most insurance plans only cover the basics with an annual maximum allowable benefit of $1,000-$1,500. Most insurance plans do not include dental implant coverage; however, often they will pay the same benefit they would cover for the lowest cost alternative treatment option (partials and dentures) and some of the diagnostic records, if a specific request is made for alternative benefits. You should review your both your dental insurance plan and your medical insurance plan. Medical coverage is very rare and Medicare does not cover implant treatment. All in all, it is best to assume that there is no medical insurance coverage available.

Providing your overall health is good, there is really no age restriction. The desire to improve your quality of life is frankly a more important consideration than age. It is not unusual for people with dentures to upgrade to implant supported dentures. It provides a renewed self-confidence in their smile and speech and also provides renewed chewing stability, plus brings back foods into their life that were once off limit.

Home care for a dental implant single tooth or for a dental implant crown and bridge is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing and flossing and regularly schedule hygiene appointments as directed by your dentist. Home care is a little more complicated for people who are missing all of their teeth, in that special brushes and floss are often recommended. Permanently fixed implant supported replacement teeth are cleaned like all other bridges. If a surgical specialists who placed the implant(s) is involved, they may want to see you at least once each year in addition to your regular dentist. These visits, combined with proper home care, are essential to the long term success of implant treatment.

The actual cost of dental implant treatment is based on a number of factors, such as the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of implant supported teeth (treatment option) recommended and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result. The only way to accurately estimate the cost for an individual patient is to have an examination and consultation with your dental specialist. The total fee is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement; however, long-term, implant treatment is generally more cost effective than other options, such as bridges, partials and dentures that need to be replaced every 5-10 years.

Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges, partials and dentures that may need to be replaced several times. Unlike bridges, partials and dentures, a dental implant replaces the lost tooth root, which will prevent jaw bone resorption that occurs with bridges, partials and dentures. The loss of tooth roots will cause a change of the smile and contours of the face over time. A bridge, once the common single tooth replacement method, requires the alteration of each neighboring healthy tooth, which is cut down and shaped to accept a crown. With dental implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth. The lost root and crown is replaced leaving neighboring healthy teeth in place. Removable partials connect to healthy teeth by hooks. Partials may be removed for cleaning and may need to be replaced often. A partial hook connected to healthy teeth will create tooth stress and will loosen the healthy teeth over time. Full arch dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which, among other things, causes the appearance of premature aging.

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