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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Advanced Dental Concepts
October 22, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Root canal therapy is one of the most effective dental treatments, but some patients have anxiety about agreeing to this procedure. Review Root Canalthese frequently asked questions about root canal treatment so that you can be more confident and relaxed about setting an appointment with your dentist. You can expect compassionate care from the team at Advanced Dental Concepts in Andover, MA.

What Does a Root Canal Do?
Dental pain due to decay is caused by bad bacteria invading the root of the tooth. That includes the nerves and soft tissues inside of the tooth, which become inflamed and very painful. Without treatment, the decay could work its way to the bottom layer of the root and cause tooth loss. A root canal allows your dentist to remove the bad tissue so that your tooth has a chance to heal. After it is clean, it can then be refilled with a protective material and sealed with a crown.

Will a Root Canal Hurt?
If you have to go to the dentist for a root canal exam, you’re probably already in pain. This procedure will relieve you of that discomfort so that you can eat, sleep, and talk normally again. Your Andover, MA, dentist will take steps to ensure that you are sedated before the root canal treatment procedure to minimize your dental anxiety.

What Should a Patient Know After a Root Canal?
You’ll need to follow up with your dentist after your root canal procedure is complete to ensure that there is no more pain or discomfort (and also to have the permanent crown attached). Careful attention to oral hygiene is important, and you’ll likely be instructed to avoid solid foods for at least a few days after the procedure. You may also be advised to take an anti-inflammatory medication (like ibuprofen) as needed.

Call for Treatment
Root canal treatment, when performed in a timely fashion, can restore your aching tooth and your whole smile. Call (978) 475-2431 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Richard Hopgood at Advanced Dental Concepts in Andover, MA.

By Advanced Dental Concepts
September 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Whether performed in a dental office or using a home kit, teeth whitening applications are quite effective for bleaching exterior (extrinsic) stains on enamel surfaces. But what if your discoloration comes from inside the tooth? In this case, extrinsic teeth whitening won’t work — you’ll need to undergo an “internal bleaching” method, which can only be performed in a dentist's office.

There are a number of causes for “intrinsic” staining, including too much fluoride exposure or tetracycline use during childhood. One of the more common causes, though, occurs from root canal treatments used to remove the remnants of the pulp tissue inside a tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. Certain cements used during the procedure to help seal in the filling material and leftover blood pigments can cause the tooth to darken over time.

To alleviate this discoloration, we use a bleaching agent, usually sodium perborate mixed with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide to achieve a safe, accelerated color change. After determining that the root canal filling is still intact and the bone is healthy, we create a small cavity in the back of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The chamber is cleaned of any debris or stained material and then thoroughly irrigated. The original root canal filling is then sealed off to prevent leakage from the bleaching agent.

We then place the bleaching agent in the cleaned-out space with a cotton pellet and seal it in with a temporary adhesive. This step is repeated for several days until we achieve the desired shade of white. Once that occurs we then seal the dentin with a more permanent filling and then restore the cavity we created with a composite resin bonded to the enamel and dentin.

If we’re successful in achieving the desired color, intrinsic whitening could help you avoid more costly options like veneers or crowns for an otherwise healthy and attractive tooth. The end result would be the same — a beautiful smile without those unsightly stains.

If you would like more information on treating internal tooth stains, 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 “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
June 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Dental crowns offered by your dentist, Dr. Richard Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts in Andover, MA, provide several important smile dental-crownsbenefits. Whether you're concerned about a damaged tooth, want to protect a fragile tooth, or would like to completely change the appearance of a tooth, a crown may be a good option for you.


Crowns offer the ultimate protection for at-risk teeth

Wear and tear can take a toll on your teeth. After years of biting and chewing, you may develop a crack in a tooth, or it may become brittle and begin to crumble. These problems weaken teeth and may eventually cause painful, unsightly tooth fractures. Teeth can also weaken if you've had a root canal or a large filling.

Crowns offer a simple solution if you have a fragile tooth. These hollow restorations are able to completely cover teeth in order to absorb the pressure you produce when you bite and chew. They are made from a variety of durable materials that look just like tooth enamel (including porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, and resin) that are able to last for years on end.


Crowns restore fractured teeth

Restoring fractured teeth isn't just an appearance issue. If you don't add a crown to your tooth, chewing will become much harder and the broken ends of your tooth will be exposed to the air, an effect that can cause considerable pain.

Covering a fractured tooth with a crown will restore both its normal appearance and functionality, as well as ease your pain. Additionally, because your Andover dentist creates the crown from impressions of your mouth, your new crown will look and feel perfectly at home in your mouth.


Flaws disappear under crowns

Crowns are also used to conceal tooth imperfections, including injuries, discolorations, and odd shaping.


Interested? Give us a call

Enhance your smile with versatile crowns! Call your Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Richard Hopgood, at (978) 475-2431 to schedule your appointment.

By Advanced Dental Concepts
June 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.

“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”

The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”

A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.

It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.

So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”