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Posts for: February, 2016

By Advanced Dental Concepts
February 21, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.

What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.

For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.

Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.

Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.

So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
February 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants are widely recognized as the best tooth replacement option available. For most people, though, it’s a long process: after a tooth is extracted the socket is allowed to heal and fill in with new bone before implant surgery: that can take anywhere from two to five months. Afterward, there’s usually a two– to three–month period after the implant is placed before the permanent crown (the visible tooth) can be attached.

Without adequate bone present the implant’s long-term stability might be compromised. Furthermore, the implant’s durability is dependent upon bone growth around and attaching to its titanium post after surgery in a process known as osseo-integration. These two considerations indeed serve a critical function in the implant’s ultimate success.

In recent years, however, a variation to this traditional implant process has emerged that allows for immediate implantation right after extraction. Besides combining extraction and implantation into one surgical procedure, immediate implants minimize the disruption to a person’s appearance (especially with visibly prominent front teeth) when combined with a provisional crown.

Immediate implants joined together that replace a full arch of teeth can receive biting forces and succeed. Individual implants that replace single teeth, however, won’t work in all situations and must be undertaken with care to ensure long-term success. Because there may be less available bone, the implant must fit snugly within the socket to maintain as secure a hold as possible. The surgeon must also take care not to damage too much of the gum and bone tissue when extracting the tooth, which could affect both the integrity of the implant and its appearance in the gum line.

Temporary crowns may be attached during the implant surgery, but they’re installed for appearance’ sake only. For individual crowns, they must be designed not to make contact with the teeth on the opposing jaw to avoid generating biting forces that will cause the implant to fail and stop the bone-healing process that occurs with osseo–integration.

If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important to discuss with us which type of procedure, traditional or immediate, would be best for you, and only after a comprehensive examination of your mouth and jaw structure. Regardless of the approach, our goal is to provide you with a smile-transforming restoration that will last for many years to come.

If you would like more information on the dental implant process, 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 “Immediate Implants.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
February 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that almost half of the adult population in the United States has some form of gum disease. If your dentist places you in that number, don't despair because Dr. Richard Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts in Andover, MA is trained in periodontics and offers many modern solutions, including laser periodontal therapy.Gum Disease

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar build-up at and below the gum. This accumulation harbors bacteria destructive not only to the gum tissue, enamel, tooth roots and bone, but also to systemic health. Common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • red, swollen gums, sometimes with pus
  • bad breath
  • loose teeth
  • receding gum tissue
  • formation of deep pockets between gums and teeth

While these symptoms of periodontitis are obvious, other signs are more hidden. Adverse health effects include:

  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • stroke
  • pregnancy complications
  • low birth weight babies
  • dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Treatment of Gum Disease

Traditional periodontal therapy--tooth scaling and root planing--helps many people regain the health of their gum tissues and to retain their teeth. However, more technically advanced treatments, available at Advanced Dental Concepts, can more quickly and comfortably restore gum tissue.

In Andover, Dr.Hopgood uses the innovative LANAP protocol and PerioLase MVP-7 laser to kill oral bacteria below the gum line safely, comfortably and best of all, effectively. This outstanding protocol eliminates up to 90 percent of a patient's diseased gum tissue in one appointment lasting less than 2 hours.

The PerioLase MVP-7 laser is:

  • FDA-cleared
  • well-tolerated by most any patient, allowing for a quick recovery time
  • so fast that it literally vaporizes the bacteria in gum pockets, allowing gum tissue to reattach to tooth roots
  • tissue-sparing
  • different from other treatment tools because it helps damaged bone structure to regenerate

Most practitioners using this protocol and laser also employ ultrasonic root scaling to smooth rough root surfaces and facilitate tissue reattachment.

Dr. Richard Hopgood at Advanced Dental Concepts

Dr. Hopgood is certified in the use of the PerioLase MVP-7 laser and recommends it for patients who wish to see their oral health improve dramatically and permanently in just 1 to 2 dental visits. Also an expert in many other highly technical dental and periodontal restorative procedures, Dr. Hopgood desires to see all his patients have healthy, attractive smiles for life.

Call Advanced Dental Concepts in Andover, MA to ask about laser periodontal therapy and how it could help your oral health today.