296 Lowell St., Andover, MA 01810, (978) 475-2431

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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Advanced Dental Concepts
April 20, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth grinding  
StressandNighttimeTeethGrinding

April is National Stress Awareness Month. But what does stress have to do with dentistry? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, if you have a Type A personality or are under a lot of stress, you are more likely to suffer from a condition called bruxism, which means you habitually grind or gnash your teeth. One in ten adults grind their teeth, and the rate is much higher in stressful professions. In fact, the bruxism rate is seven times higher among police officers!

Many people grind their teeth in their sleep without realizing it, so how would you know if you are a "sleep bruxer"? If your spouse frequently elbows you in the ribs because of the grinding sounds you make, that could be your first clue. Unfortunately, dental damage is another common sign. Some people find out they are nighttime teeth grinders only when they are examined by a dentist since bruxing often leads to wear patterns on the teeth that only happen because of this behavior. Other complications can also develop: The condition can interfere with sleep, result in headaches and cause soreness in the face, neck or jaw. Chronic or severe nighttime teeth grinding can damage dental work, such as veneers, bridgework, crowns and fillings, and can result in teeth that are worn down, chipped, fractured or loose.

The most common treatment is a custom-made night guard made of high-impact plastic that allows you to sleep while preventing your upper and lower teeth from coming into contact. Although a night guard will protect your teeth and dental work, it won't stop the grinding behavior. Therefore, finding and treating the cause should be a priority.

The Bruxism Association estimates that 70 percent of teeth grinding behavior is related to stress. If you are a bruxer, you can try muscle relaxation exercises, stretching and breathing exercises, stress reduction techniques and, where feasible, any lifestyle changes that can allow you to reduce the number of stressors in your life. Prescription muscle relaxants may also help. In addition, teeth grinding may be related to sleep apnea. This possibility should be investigated since sleep apnea can have some serious health consequences—we offer effective treatments for this condition as well.

We can spot signs of bruxism, so it's important to come in for regular dental checkups. We look for early indications of dental damage and can help you protect your smile. If you have questions about teeth grinding or would like to discuss possible symptoms, please contact our office or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Grinding” and “Stress & Tooth Habits.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
April 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures  

Self-esteem issues, nutritional problems, jawbone deterioration, teeth shifting are just some of the issues caused by missing teeth. Luckily Denturesthe Andover, MA, office of Dr. Richard Hopgood offers denture treatment to help those suffering from tooth loss. Read on to learn more about the different varieties of denture treatment, and what they can do for you!

 

More About Dentures

There are a few different options to replace teeth, most notably dental implants, however, this method is rather expensive and requires a sizeable time commitment. On the other hand, dentures are an easier, more affordable tooth replacement.

Dentures from our Andover office come down to two categories: full (necessary if you have no remaining teeth left) and partial (for those missing only a few teeth).

For full dentures, we offer:

  • Immediate Dentures: These are temporary dentures that help prevent the natural shrinkage of gums during the transition to permanent dentures.
  • Conventional Full Dentures: These are permanent dentures that provide proper functionality.
  • Implant-Supported Overdentures: These implants provide dentures with increased stability. Upper jaws usually need more implants than lower jaws because of their bone density.

For partial dentures, we offer:

  • Transitional Partial Dentures: These temporary, plastic dentures act as space maintainers as you await dental implants.
  • Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs): More inexpensive than implants, these dentures are made of cast Vitallium.

 

Caring for Dentures

The American Dental Association provides these tips on how you can care for your dentures:

  • When you're not wearing your dentures, you need to place them in water or a denture cleanser solution. This will help the dentures maintain their shape and prevent them from drying out.
  • Do not place your dentures in hot water.
  • Do not use bleach or any household cleaners on your dentures, for this will damage them.

 

Benefits of Dentures

  • Dentures restore chewing and speaking functionality
  • They are a more affordable alternative to dental implants
  • They provide people with a beautiful smile that can improve confidence

 

Need a consultation?

For more information about dentures in the Andover, MA, area, call Advanced Dental Concepts at (978) 475-2431 today!

By Advanced Dental Concepts
March 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

You have an awful toothache, and your gums are sore. These signs and more could indicate the need for root canal treatment from Root_CanalAdvanced Dental Concepts in Andover, MA. Dr. Richard Hopgood has years of experience restoring failing teeth, and root canal therapy is one of the services he offers. Learn more here about how you can keep your tooth through root canal treatment.

What is root canal therapy?

It's one of the most common restorative dental treatments, having a long record of reliability in preserving teeth compromised by injury, decay, infection or other oral health problem. Performed by your dentist in Andover, root canal treatment is comfortable, no more complex than getting a large filling or crown and best of all, spares you from a dental extraction.

During a root canal treatment, Dr. Hopgood accesses the interior pulp chambers which run down each tooth root. He uses small files to remove diseased nerve, connective and vascular tissue. He reshapes the canal walls and adds antibiotic medication as needed.

Then, the tooth is sealed with rubbery gutta-percha and restored with a temporary filling or crown. Over 10 days to two weeks the tooth heals, and upon returning to the dental office, you receive a new, customized crown to complete the treatment.

What are the signs you may need a root canal?

Pain is a typical sign, often indicating decay, infection or inflammation from bacteria entering the tooth via a crack. A pimple on the gums, bad breath which does not resolve and persistent dental and gum sensitivity indicate that your dentist should intervene with a root canal procedure. Sometimes, teeth which need this type of restoration are asymptomatic; so routine cleanings and check-ups at Advanced Dental Concepts can keep your teeth and gums healthy or uncover problems which otherwise would go unnoticed at home.

Is a root canal a good procedure?

Yes, it is. Teeth restored with root canal therapy typically last for many years, says the American Dental Association. Plus, if you're nervous about dental work, Dr. Hopgood offers nitrous oxide, which relaxes you during your root canal treatment.

Concerned about the health of a tooth?

Please contact our office at (978) 475-2431. We'll get you in for an examination and see if your tooth needs a root canal or other restoration. Dr. Hopgood and his team at Advanced Dental Concepts want you and your smile to look and feel great.

AlthoughRareAllergicReactionstotheMetalinImplantsCouldbeaConcern

You’re considering dental implants and you’ve done your homework: you know they’re considered the best tooth replacements available prized for durability and life-likeness. But you do have one concern — you have a metal allergy and you’re not sure how your body will react to the implant’s titanium and other trace metals.

An allergy is the body’s defensive response against any substance (living or non-living) perceived as a threat. Allergic reactions can range from a mild rash to rare instances of death due to multiple organ system shutdowns.

A person can become allergic to anything, including metals. An estimated 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel, while 1-3% of the general population to cobalt and chromium. While most allergic reactions occur in contact with consumer products (like jewelry) or metal-based manufacturing, some occur with metal medical devices or prosthetics, including certain cardiac stents and hip or knee replacements.

There are also rare cases of swelling or rashes in reaction to metal fillings, commonly known as dental amalgam. A mix of metals — mainly mercury with traces of silver, copper and tin — dental amalgam has been used for decades with the vast majority of patients experiencing no reactions. Further, amalgam has steadily declined in use in recent years as tooth-colored composite resins have become more popular.

Which brings us to dental implants: the vast majority are made of titanium alloy. Titanium is preferred in implants not only because it’s biocompatible (it “gets along” well with the body’s immune system), but also because it’s osteophilic, having an affinity with living bone tissue that encourages bone growth around and attached to the titanium. Both of these qualities make titanium a rare trigger for allergies even for people with a known metal allergy.

Still, implant allergic reactions do occur, although in only 0.6% of all cases, or six out of a thousand patients. The best course, then, is to let us know about any metal allergies you may have (or other systemic conditions, for that matter) during our initial consultation for implants. Along with that and other information, we'll be better able to advise you on whether implants are right for you.

If you would like more information on the effects of metal allergies 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 “Metal Allergies to Dental Implants.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
February 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: toothache  
YourToothacheisTellingyouSomethingsWronginYourMouth

A toothache might mean you have tooth decay—or maybe not. It could also be a sign of other problems that will take a dental exam to uncover. But we can get some initial clues about the underlying cause from how much it hurts, when and for how long it hurts and where you feel the pain most.

Let's say, for instance, you have a sharp pain while consuming something cold or hot, but only for a second or two. This could indicate isolated tooth decay or a loose filling. But it could also mean your gums have receded and exposed some of the tooth's hypersensitive root surface.

While over-aggressive brushing can be the culprit, gum recession is most often caused by periodontal (gum) disease. Untreated, this bacterial infection triggered by accumulated dental plaque could eventually cause tooth and bone loss, so the sooner it's attended to the better.

On the other hand, if the pain seems to linger after encountering hot or cold foods and liquids, or you have a continuous throbbing pain, you could have advanced tooth decay that's entered the inner pulp where infected tooth nerves are reacting painfully. If so, you may need a root canal treatment to remove the diseased pulp tissue and fill the empty pulp and root canals to prevent further infection.

If you have this kind of pain, see a dentist as soon as possible, even if the pain stops. Cessation of pain may only mean the nerves have died and can no longer transmit pain; the infection, on the other hand, is still active and will continue to advance to the roots and bone.

Tooth pain could also indicate other situations: a cracked tooth, an abscess or even a sinus problem where you're feeling the pain radiating through the teeth. So whatever kind of pain you're feeling, it's your body's alarm signal that something's wrong. Promptly seeing your dentist is the best course of action for preserving your health.

If you would like more information on treating tooth pain, 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 “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!