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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

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

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.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
May 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant   bone loss  
AnImplantRestorationCouldPreventBoneLoss

Losing teeth continues to be an all too common experience for people, especially those in their senior years. Fortunately, there are several ways to replace them, ranging from partial or full dentures to implants.

Some, though, postpone or simply choose not to replace a lost tooth, often because of the cost. But putting off a dental restoration could have a long-term impact on your health, and not in a good way. Continuing bone deterioration is one of the top consequences of delayed restoration.

Like other bones in the body, the jawbone is living tissue with cells that form, grow and eventually wear out. At the end of their life, these older cells give way to new cells. Eating and chewing play an important role in maintaining this growth cycle: the forces we generate as we chew travel up through the tooth roots to stimulate bone growth in the jaw.

When a tooth goes missing, though, the stimulus ends. Over time the bone cell replacement rate can fall off and the bone slowly loses volume. To make matters worse, bone loss can continue beyond the immediate bone underlying the tooth and affect the rest of the jawbone. The jaw can shrink in height and width, and in time become weaker overall and more susceptible to fracture.

But dental implant restorations in particular could help stop or even reverse bone deterioration at the site of the missing teeth. The titanium post implanted in the jaw attracts bone cells, which grow and adhere to its surface. Over time the bone fills in and becomes stronger.

You don't want to wait too long, though, because implants depend on a minimum amount of bone present for secure placement. You should therefore undergo an implant restoration as soon as it's practical after tooth loss. Otherwise, although we may be able to restore some of the lost bone with bone grafting, you may need to consider another restorative option.

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, time isn't on your side. But the right kind of dental restoration undertaken promptly can make for a brighter, healthier future.

If you would like more information on restoring lost teeth, 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
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.