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

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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Advanced Dental Concepts
October 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth ExtractionExtracting a tooth is generally a last resort for when a tooth is severely damaged or decayed, and can't be saved with restorative treatments like root canal therapy or a dental crown. Extractions are also sometimes a solution for crowding or an impacted tooth (when a tooth is trapped below the gums and unable to erupt). Dr. Richard D. Hopgood, a dentist in Andover, MA, performs these dental extractions and other general and cosmetic dentistry procedures for his patients.

Tooth Extractions in Andover, MA

Aside from wisdom teeth, which are commonly extracted due to problems like crowding or being impacted, extractions are typically reserved for extreme cases where there are no options to save the tooth and leaving it in poses a risk to your oral health. Some of the reasons why your dentist may recommend an extraction include:

  • Extensive decay
  • Gum disease
  • Trauma
  • Crowding
  • Infection

There are two types of extractions: simple and surgical. Simple extractions are the most common type, and are performed when there is enough tooth surface left for the dentist to remove the tooth with forceps (don't worry, anesthesia and sedation are available to help keep you comfortable and calm during the procedure).

A surgical extraction is necessary when a tooth is impacted or the crown breaks off completely and the dentist has to remove gum and bone tissue to safely remove the rest of the tooth. In some cases, you may start out with a simple extraction but the dentist will decide that a surgical extraction is necessary during the procedure (for example, if a tooth breaks during the extraction procedure).

A dental exam and x-ray screening are typically necessary to determine whether a tooth needs to be extracted.

Find a Dentist in Andover, MA

For more information about extractions and your options for treating a damaged or decayed tooth, contact our Andover, MA office by calling (978) 475-2431 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hopgood today!

By Advanced Dental Concepts
October 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
EvenThoughnotintheSmileZoneYouShouldReplacethatBackTooth

People often put a premium on appearance when deciding whether or not to replace a missing tooth. There's more motivation to replace one in the “smile zone,” where the teeth are more visible, than one that's not.

But even if your missing tooth is in the back out of sight, there are still good reasons to replace it. That's because even one lost tooth can have a cascading ill effect on other teeth, the underlying bone or eventually your entire facial structure.

The chief problems caused by a missing tooth occur first with the bone. The act of chewing generates pressure around the teeth. The teeth transmit this pressure through the roots to the bone, which stimulates the bone to grow and remain strong in support of the teeth. When you lose a tooth, the bone no longer receives this growth stimulation.

In time, the replacement rate for older bone cells will slow down and cause the bone volume to decrease. It's possible to detect a change just months after losing a tooth: you can lose an estimated 25% of bone width in the first year.

As the bone diminishes, the jaw loses height and then more width. The gum tissues will also gradually decrease. As a result you may not be able to chew or even speak as well as you once could. Depending on the number of teeth you've lost, the foundational portion of the jawbone — the basal bone — may also decline. The distance between nose and chin may decrease and the cheeks sink in. Without bone support in the rear, the bite can collapse and push the teeth forward out of their normal position.

The best way to avoid this debilitating spiral is to replace a tooth as soon as practical. There are many options, but perhaps the best choice is a dental implant: not only will it provide a life-like appearance, but its affinity with bone will stop bone loss and even encourage new growth.

So, don't neglect replacing that “invisible” tooth if it's lost. Your mouth and ultimately your appearance will be better for it.

If you would like more information on tooth loss and restoration options, 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 “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
June 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Has your dentist mentioned that it may be time to start thinking about dentures? The appliances offer a few benefits you may not have denturesconsidered. Our Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Richard Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, regularly helps his patients consider tooth restoration options, including full dentures and implant-supported dentures.

What advantages do dentures offer?

Losing your teeth can have a profound effect on your life. After tooth loss, you may feel less confident and might even avoid social situations due to concerns about your appearance. Missing teeth can also affect your ability to advance in your career if you're still working in the Andover area.

Adding a set of full, immediate or implant-supported dentures to your mouth immediately transforms your appearance. Although the dentures your grandparents wore may have looked bulky or unnatural, today's dentures are designed to look just like natural teeth. In fact, no one will probably be able to tell that you're wearing dentures.

Drooping facial muscles may occur when you no longer have teeth to support the muscles. Dentures decrease sagging and help you look more youthful.

In addition to improving your smile, dentures also offer a few other benefits, including:

  • Better Health: Without teeth to chew, tear, and shred food into small pieces, you may be forced to resort to a liquid or soft diet. Although the diet may keep you feeling full, it won't necessarily contain the nutrients you need to maintain good health. Dentures will allow you to eat many of your favorite foods again and ensure that your diet is nutritionally sound.
  • Better Speech: Speaking clearly is difficult without teeth. No matter how hard you try, it may be impossible to pronounce certain words and sounds if your teeth are missing. If you're tired of repeating yourself or writing down words when others don't understand you, it may be time to consider dentures.

Whether you choose full, immediate, partial, or implant-supported dentures, a new set of teeth can help improve the quality of your life. Call Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, at (978) 475-2431 to schedule an appointment to discuss your denture options.

By Advanced Dental Concepts
June 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   dentures  
Implant-SupportedDenturesCouldContributetoBetterBoneHealth

For generations, dentures have helped people avoid the dire consequences of total teeth loss. Now, implant technology is making them even better.

Composed of life-like prosthetic teeth fixed within a plastic or resin gum-colored base, dentures are manufactured to fit an individual patient’s mouth for maximum fit, comfort and performance. But dentures also have a critical drawback—they can’t stop bone loss in the jaw.

Bone is constantly regenerating as older cells dissolve and then are replaced by newer cells. In the jawbone, the forces generated when we chew travel through the teeth to the bone and help stimulate this new cell growth. When teeth are missing, though, the bone doesn’t receive this stimulus and may not regenerate at a healthy rate, resulting in gradual bone loss.

Dentures can’t transmit this chewing stimulus to the bone. In fact, the pressure they produce as they rest on top of the gums may actually accelerate bone loss. Over time then, a denture’s once secure and comfortable fit becomes loose.

In the past, most patients with loose dentures have had them relined with new dental material to improve fit, or have new dentures created to conform to the changed contours of the jaws. But implant technology now offers another alternative.

Implants are in essence a tooth root replacement. Dentists surgically implant a titanium metal post directly into the jawbone that naturally attracts bone cells to grow and adhere to it over time (a process called osseointegration). This not only creates a secure and lasting hold, it can also stop or even reverse bone loss.

Most people know implants as single tooth replacements with a porcelain crown attached to the titanium post. But a few strategically placed implants can also support either removable or fixed dentures. Removable dentures (also called overdentures) usually need only 3 or 4 implants on the top jaw and 2 on the bottom jaw for support through built-in connectors in the dentures that attach to the implants. A fixed bridge may require 4-6 implants to which they are permanently attached.

There are pros and cons for each of these options and they’re both more expensive than traditional dentures. In the long run, though, implant-supported dentures could be more beneficial for your bone health and hold their fit longer.

If you would like more information on implant-supported dental work, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Advanced Dental Concepts
May 25, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: chipped tooth   bonding  
WhyBearaChippedTooth

Having a chipped tooth certainly can make life more difficult. It not only keeps you from wanting to smile, but it may also make it harder to eat your favorite foods. And that can be a major problem — especially if you need to eat up to 80 pounds of bamboo every day to stay healthy.

Just ask Bai Yun, the female giant panda at the San Diego Zoo. The 23-year-old animal recently chipped one of her lower canines, and her keepers were concerned that it might impair her ability to get good nutrition (pandas spend as many as 12 hours a day munching on the woody plants). So they decided it was time for a little dental work!

What followed was not unlike a regular visit to the dental office… except that, instead of sitting in a chair, the 227-pound panda reclined on a large table. After being anesthetized, the patient’s teeth were examined, and x-rays were taken. A composite resin was applied to the damaged tooth, and it was cured with a special light. After the repair work was done, her teeth were given a professional cleaning. When the anesthesia wore off, Bai Yun was released in good health — and ready to eat more bamboo.

Tooth bonding with composite resin is the restoration of choice in many situations. This method can be used to repair small chips or cracks in the teeth, and to clear up some spacing irregularities. The resin itself is a mixture of tough, translucent plastic and glass components that can be made in a number of different shades, which look remarkably like the tooth’s natural enamel coating. And the bonding material links up so well with the tooth structure that this treatment can be expected to last for years.

Another benefit of bonding is that it can be done right in the office — there’s no lab work involved (as there could be for veneers or crowns, for example). That makes it a relatively simple and economical treatment that can typically be completed in a single visit. It’s ideal for fixing minor flaws that don’t involve a great deal of tooth structure. It’s also a cost-effective solution for teenagers who need cosmetic dental work, but must wait until they have stopped growing to get more permanent restorations.

While it isn’t usually as long-lasting as restorations like crowns and veneers, cosmetic bonding is a minimally invasive, reversible treatment that can keep your smile healthy and bright for years to come. And that’s important — whether or not you spend most of your day eating bamboo and posing for snapshots at the zoo.

If you have questions about whether cosmetic bonding could help your smile look its best, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”