Restore Your Smile With Dr. Sheehan
At Oakland Family Dental, we believe that all of our patients deserve the best possible care. That’s why Dr. Sheehan offers natural-looking dental implants as a permanent solution to tooth loss. Implants replace a missing tooth and fuse with your jawbone for unmatched stability and strength. Unlike other tooth restoration options, our titanium tooth implants even stimulate jawbone growth and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Living with an incomplete smile does more than impact your confidence in social situations— missing teeth can make it difficult to eat and speak as well as put you at a higher risk for developing serious oral diseases and infections.
Explore our guide to learn more about dental implants and what they can do for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent, natural-looking solution to replace a missing tooth from root to crown. Dental implants are unique because they never need to be removed, function just like natural teeth, and protect your jaw.
Your natural teeth have roots that stimulate your jaw bone, And when you lose your teeth, the jawbone no longer has that stimulation, which can lead to deterioration of the gums. Because the implants fuse directly into your jawbone, they prevent bone loss and are the most stable and long-lasting tooth replacement option available.
Implants provide excellent support and stability so you can enjoy all of your favorite foods without worrying about damaging your smile.
Dental implants can be used to replace any number of missing teeth in your smile and can be used in tandem with other restoration options to create a stronger, healthier smile.
Dental implants are composed of three parts:
- Titanium post—This post is surgically placed into your jaw and is designed to replace your natural tooth’s roots and stimulate your jawbone growth. Through a process called osseointegration, the post becomes fused with your jaw which makes your implant incredibly stable.
- Porcelain crown—The crown is a prosthetic tooth that appears above the gum line. It is the only part of your implant that is visible, so we ensure it is color-matched to your natural teeth for a flawless, blended appearance.
- Abutment—This piece connects the post to the crown.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
If you want a tooth replacement that allows you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence, dental implants could be right for you. Many patients prefer them to restorations like dentures because the implants won’t slide around in your mouth, never need to be removed, and can be cleaned just like natural teeth. They also stimulate healthy bone growth, enhancing the health of your smile. Many of our patients in Waterford and the surrounding areas choose dental implants for a variety of reasons:
- Replace one or more missing teeth
- Enhance the appearance of your smile
- Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by shifting teeth
- Prevent the development of sagging skin and premature wrinkles
- Restore chewing, speech, and digestion
- Support a bridge or denture for added comfort
Our Dental Implant Solutions
At Oakland Family Dental, we feature several dental implant solutions, such as single-tooth, multi-tooth, and full-arch implant solutions, depending on your needs. Dr. Sheehan can customize a restoration for you that’ll enhance the long-term health and beauty of your smile.
If you’re missing a single tooth, we can permanently replace it with a dental implant while restoring the natural look, feel, and function of your smile. Made of safe biocompatible titanium, dental implants directly integrate with your jawbone for a strong foundation. This process provides durable and long-lasting support for a beautiful porcelain crown.
An implant-supported bridge is an effective solution for patients wanting to restore multiple missing teeth that lie in an isolated area. Implant-supported bridges are anchored directly to the jaw with one or more dental implants, so they don’t have to rely on neighboring teeth for support. This tooth replacement option provides greater stability and comfort than traditional dental bridges.
For patients missing a full arch of teeth, implant-supported dentures are a stable, comfortable, and effective way to restore your smile. Implant-supported dentures are directly anchored to the jaw, eliminating the need for dental adhesives. This incredible tooth loss solution allows you to talk with ease, eat without restrictions, and avoid the hassles of traditional dentures.
Our Unique Dental Implant Process
Restoring your smile with dental implants at our Waterford practice requires multiple appointments over several months. Your treatment will consist of a few easy steps:
1. Initial Consultation— During this first visit, Dr. Sheehan will thoroughly evaluate your teeth, gums, and jawbone to determine if dental implants are right for you. This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about the procedure.
2. Implant Placement—Once she determines you’re ready, Dr. Sheehan will surgically place your implant or implants directly in your jaw while the area is numb. We’ll use our advanced X-Guide navigation to plan your surgery with maximum precision.
3. Healing Period—Once the surgery is complete, you’ll need to allow two to six months for your implant to heal and merge with your jawbone. This process is called osseointegration.
4. Final Restoration—Once your mouth is fully healed, you’ll return to our office in Waterford, MI to finish the last step of your treatment. Dr. Sheehan can attach your beautiful, customized restoration to the implant fixture, providing unmatched stability and support.
Are You a Candidate For Dental Implants?
Most people are viable candidates for dental implants. In order to ensure a successful implant, patients must have healthy gums and enough jawbone density to hold the implant. Patients who practice diligent at-home oral health care routines and visit the dentist for biannual check-ups tend to be good candidates for dental implants. However, Dr. Sheehan may recommend a supplemental procedure in order to increase candidacy if you:
- Heavily smoke
- Have uncontrolled chronic disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, or gum disease
- Have a weakened immune system
- Are taking certain antibiotics or steroids
- Have progressed gum deterioration
If you lack the bone density or healthy gum tissue needed to support implants, a supplemental procedure can prepare you for treatment. Supplemental procedures for dental implants typically include bone grafting and gum grafting.
These procedures are intended to strengthen the foundation for your implants and restore your damaged jawbone. We want your new implants to last a lifetime, which requires strong, healthy gums to firmly secure them in place.
During your consultation, Dr. Sheehan will examine your oral health to make sure that you’re a proper candidate for dental implants. She will also discuss any necessary supplemental treatments and include them in your personalized plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
After your treatment is finished, the success of your dental implants is dependent on your care. With proper care and maintenance, such as daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals paired with biannual visits to our Waterford office, implants can last anywhere from 25 years to a lifetime.
The first week after your surgery is the most crucial to the health of your implant. During this time, it’s important to strictly follow Dr. Sheehan’s specific instructions. We also recommend limiting your diets to soft foods, refraining from drinking alcohol or smoking, and rinsing your mouth with warm salt water after meals.
Once your implants have healed, maintaining them becomes much easier simply brush and floss every day, and visit Dr. Sheehan for regular checkups.
Yes — as long as your surgery is performed by an experienced implant dentist, there’s no cause for concern. Dental implants have an overall success rate of 98%. They’re also the only tooth replacement that stimulates jawbone growth to preserve your long-term oral health.
Unfortunately, most insurance providers designate dental implants as a cosmetic treatment and won’t cover your total cost. However, we suggest contacting your provider as each plan is unique and can differ from patient to patient. Our team will be happy to assist you in finding out what specific coverage you have.
In the rare event that you experience a complication with your dental implants, don’t attempt to fix the issue yourself, as this can result in further damage. Instead, call our practice right away and we’ll make sure you get the treatment you need as soon as possible.
The Path to a Stunning, New Smile
If you want a stunning smile that will last for many years to come, dental implants could be the ideal treatment for you. Whether you’re missing a single tooth, a few teeth, or a full arch, Dr. Sheehan can provide a solution that will restore health and beauty to your smile. Call our Waterford practice at (248) 674-0384 or fill out our convenient form online to schedule your no-obligation consultation today.