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By Advanced Dental Concepts
September 16, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
HeresWhatYouCanExpectWithDentalImplantSurgery

Getting dental implants is going to require surgery. But don't let that concern you—it's a relatively minor procedure.

Currently the “gold standard” for tooth replacement, an implant consists of a titanium post surgically imbedded in the jawbone. We can affix a life-like crown to a single implant or support a fixed bridge or removable denture using a series of them.

Because placement will determine the restoration's final appearance, we must carefully plan implant surgery beforehand. Our first priority is to verify that you have adequate jawbone available to support an implant.

Additionally, we want to identify any underlying structures like nerves or blood vessels that might obstruct placement. We may also develop a surgical guide, a retainer-like device placed in the mouth during surgery that identifies precisely where to create the holes or channels for the implants.

After numbing the area with local anesthesia, we begin the surgery by opening the gum tissue with a series of incisions to expose the underlying bone. If we've prepared a surgical guide, we'll place it in the mouth at this time.

We then create the channel for the insert through a series of drillings. We start with a small opening, then increase its size through subsequent drills until we've created a channel that fits the size of the intended implant.

After removing the implant from its sterile packaging, we'll directly insert it into the channel. Once in place, we may take an x-ray to verify that it's been properly placed, and adjust as needed. Unless we're attaching a temporary crown at the time of surgery (an alternate procedure called immediate loading), we suture the gums over the implant to protect it.

Similar to other dental procedures, discomfort after surgery is usually mild to moderate and manageable with pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if necessary, we can prescribe something stronger). We may also have you take antibiotics or use antibacterial mouthrinses for a while to prevent infection.

A few weeks later, after the bone has grown and adhered to the implant surface, you'll return to receive your new permanent crown or restoration. While the process can take a few months and a number of treatment visits, in the end you'll have new life-like teeth that could serve you well for decades.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Surgery.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
September 06, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
DentalHygieneandCareCriticalDuringCancerTreatment

After months or even years of radiation or chemotherapy, the words "cancer-free" is music to your ears. Your joy and relief, though, may be tempered by the toll these treatments can take on the rest of your body—including your mouth.

Both of these treatments can destroy healthy tissue along with targeted cancer cells. If the focus has been on the head and neck regions, they could damage the salivary glands to the point that they won't produce adequate saliva flow.

A lack of saliva can have a detrimental effect on your oral health. Saliva buffers and helps lower oral acid levels that soften and erode enamel and increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Saliva also supplies antibodies that fight disease-causing bacteria. Otherwise, bacteria—and the risk for disease—can rapidly grow.

If these or other scenarios occur, you may experience dental damage, even tooth loss. Fortunately, we can restore an injured smile in various ways, including dentures, bridges or dental implants. But we should also attempt to limit the potential damage by taking steps to prevent dental disease during cancer treatment.

The most important of these is to brush and floss daily. Everyone should practice these hygiene tasks to remove disease-causing dental plaque, regardless of their health status. But because some natural disease-fighting mechanisms in the mouth may be disrupted during either radiation or chemotherapy, it's even more important if you're a cancer patient.

It's equally important to maintain as much as possible regular dental visits during cancer treatment. Dental cleanings provided during these visits remove any residual plaque and tartar (hardened plaque), which further lowers your disease risk.

Your dentist can better monitor your overall dental condition during frequent visits and provide as much treatment as you can tolerate. They can also enhance your protection against disease by prescribing antibacterial mouthrinses, fluoride applications or products to boost saliva production.

Some teeth and gum problems may be unavoidable; in that case, you may need post-treatment dental care to restore your oral health as needed. But caring as much for your dental health as you're able during cancer treatment could help you realize a better outcome.

If you would like more information on dental care during cancer treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 27, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth wear  
3DentalProblemsThatCouldBeCausingExcessiveDentalWear

If you do the right things—keep your teeth clean, see the dentist regularly, and eat a "tooth-friendly" diet—you stand a good chance of having healthy teeth and gums later in life. Even so, after eating well over 75,000 meals by age 70, you can expect some wear from all that biting and chewing.

But there's normal wear—and then there's excessive wear, which can be caused by a variety of factors. When it occurs, accelerated wear can increase your risk of dental disease—and your shorter-toothed smile can make you look older than your actual age.

Here are 3 dental problems that can lead to accelerated tooth wear, and what you can do about them.

Tooth decay. This dental disease can severely weaken a tooth's protective enamel surface, which can in turn increase wear. You can minimize your chances of developing tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and undergoing regular dental cleanings. And the sooner you receive treatment for any diagnosed decay, the less likely your enamel will suffer significant damage.

Poor bite. Properly aligned teeth mesh well together while biting and chewing, which minimizes wearing. But misalignments put undue stress on teeth that can lead to accelerated wear. By correcting a bite problem through orthodontics, we can properly align teeth so that they interact with each other normally for less wear.

Teeth grinding. This unconscious habit of gnashing or grinding teeth (often during sleep) can produce abnormally high biting forces. Among other adverse outcomes, this can also increase teeth wearing. If you grind your teeth, there are therapeutic methods that could reduce the habit. You can also obtain a custom night guard to reduce biting forces while you sleep.

If you've already experienced excessive dental wear, there are cosmetic options like porcelain veneers or dental bonding that can restore your smile to a more youthful appearance and help protect your teeth. But if you haven't reached that point, you can make sure you don't by taking care of your teeth and gums and seeking prompt dental treatment for problems leading to accelerated wear.

If you would like more information on teeth wear, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How and Why Teeth Wear.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 23, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Root canals not only end pain but also help you avoid tooth loss. During a root canal, your dentist will remove your pulp, clean and shape the interior of your tooth, and restore it with a rubber-based filling material.

You should visit your Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Richard Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, if you notice any of these signs and symptoms:

Your tooth hurts A cavity isn't the only cause of a toothache. Your tooth may also hurt if the soft pulp at the center of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. Pain due to an inflammation or infection can be severe and throbbing when you need a root canal, but that's not always the case. At first, the pain may be mild or might come and go. As the inflammation or infection worsens, you will notice more intense or continual pain.

You have sore gums The inflammation or infection deep inside your tooth may also cause the gums surrounding the tooth to become inflamed. Your gums may be red, tender, and swollen if you need a root canal.

Eating has become unpleasant Tooth sensitivity is a common symptom of an infected or inflamed tooth. Every time you eat or drink a hot, cold, or sugary food or beverage, your pain may get worse. Pain may even last as long as 30 minutes after you finish your meal or drink.

You've had multiple dental procedures Your root canal risk can increase if you've had more than one dental procedure on the same tooth.

Your tooth doesn't look the same Darkening of your tooth could be due to an inflammation or infection. Be sure to get in touch with your dentist at the Andover, MA, dental office to schedule an appointment if you notice a change in tooth color.

You're in pain and don't feel so great You'll need a root canal if you have a bacterial infection called an abscess. Without emergency treatment, the infection could spread throughout your body. Symptoms of an abscess may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, tooth pain, pus, a bump on the gums, or facial swelling.

Protect your smile with a root canal! Call your dentist in Andover, MA, Dr. Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, at (978) 475-2431 to schedule your appointment.

By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 19, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dental Crowns  

If you're concerned about a damaged tooth or want to improve the appearance of your smile, dental crowns provide an excellent solution. Your dentist in Andover, MA, Dr. Richard Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, offers dental crowns.

How dental crowns work

Crowns, also called caps, fit over the top of teeth, covering them completely. Made of durable materials like porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and resin, crowns are designed to last 10 years or longer.

When you visit us for your dental crown, your dentist in Andover, MA, will make your tooth a little smaller. Decreasing the size of the tooth makes it easier for the crown to fit comfortably. Your dentist will also make an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to dental laboratory technicians who will create your new crowns. You'll need to wear temporary crowns until your permanent ones are ready in about two weeks. Permanent crowns are attached to your teeth using dental cement.

The many ways crowns can help your smile

Your dentist may recommend dental crowns if you have any of these tooth issues:

  • Damaged Teeth: Have you broken one or more of your teeth? A dental crown can replace lost tooth structure and restore the natural appearance and function of your teeth.
  • Fragile Teeth: Fragile teeth can break very easily. Luckily, adding a crown to a weak or fragile tooth can help prevent breaks from happening. Your tooth can become fragile due to a crack, a large filling, or root canal therapy. As you age, your teeth may become brittle, making them more likely to break.
  • Lost Teeth: Dental crowns are also used to replace missing teeth. They can anchor bridges and be paired with dental implants to create brand-new synthetic teeth.
  • Appearance Issues: A crown may be a good option if a tooth is discolored, short, or oddly shaped. Have a few of your teeth become shorter due to wear and tear or grinding while you sleep? Crowns improve the look of your smile.

Transform your smile with dental crowns! Call your Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, at (978) 475-2431 to schedule your appointment.





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