(970) 963-4882
fax (970) 963-1023
580 Main Street, Suite 200
Carbondale. Colorado 81623

Dental Implants

Despite improvements to individual dental care, many people still experience tooth loss due to decay, gingivitis or injury. For many years, the only restorative treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Today, Crystal Valley Dental Associates offers dental implants that give their patients back their smiles.

Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth because they are designed to fuse with bone -- providing a strong foundation for new, replacement teeth. Unlike bridges that are joined to abutting teeth, implants stand on their own, improving long-term dental health. Unlike dentures, there is no embarrassing slippage, or interference with speech or eating favorite foods, and because they are permanent, there is no need for messy adhesives, or the discomfort and inconvenience of removal for cleaning.

In general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98 percent. They are very durable, and with proper care, can last a lifetime. There is no more discomfort in inserting an implant than in a routine dental extraction. Over-the-counter analgesic medications will usually alleviate any pain.

Patients considering an implant should have healthy gums and enough jawbone to secure it, and be committed to good oral hygiene including regular dental visits.  Heavy smokers, people who suffer from chronic disorders like diabetes or heart disease, or patients who have undergone radiation therapy in the head or neck area may need to be evaluated. At a regular visit, Dr. Doherty and his professional staff will develop an individualized treatment plan that offers the best solution for each patient, and may include implants.

Dental implants can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a full upper and lower set of teeth. They can also be used to restore a full arch or an “all-on-four” treatment. In this case, Dr. Doherty places four implants and then attaches a full arch of teeth, giving the procedure its name (all teeth, only four implants). 

The first step in having an implant is inserting a small post made of very strong titanium into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the metal post, securely anchoring it to the jaw. This healing process can take from six to 12 weeks.
Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post, or an abutment, is attached to hold the new tooth. The new tooth is a prosthetic crown that matches the color of the patient’s natural teeth. This entire procedure will be done in the comfort of the Crystal Valley Dental Associates office.