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

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Posts for: May, 2016

MildPainRelieversmaybeallyouneedforDiscomfortafterDentalWork

For most dental procedures you’re usually back to your regular routine in no more than a day or two (or even hours) afterward. For the most part, the mouth heals rather quickly.

But there may still be a short period of discomfort after tooth extraction, gum surgery or similar invasive procedures. The good news is you will most likely have no need for strong narcotic painkillers — milder, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to manage your discomfort.

The most common of these are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This group of pain relievers — which include aspirin and ibuprofen — block the release of substances in the body known as prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation that increases pain in damaged tissues. They’re much preferred for mild to moderate pain because they don’t have the side effects of steroids or narcotics like morphine or codeine. They also tend to be less costly than these other prescription drugs.

But while they’re reasonably safe, they can cause problems if you exceed the recommended dosage or use them for prolonged periods. Their blockage of certain chemicals reduces the clotting mechanism in blood leading to a blood-thinning effect. Not only will this increase bleeding, it can also damage the stomach lining and cause ulcers if used over a period of weeks. Improper dosage of NSAIDs has also been linked to miscarriages and repeat heart attacks, which is why they’re not recommended for use during pregnancy or with patients with a history of heart or intestinal problems.

But if taken as directed by your physician or dentist — usually no more than 2,400 milligrams a day and only for a few days — such side effects are quite rare. The benefit is much more common: about five hours of pain relief from a single dose for most people. With the help of ibuprofen or similar drugs, you’ll be on your feet after your dental work in no time. 

If you would like more information on managing pain after a procedure, 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 “Treating Pain with Ibuprofen.”


By Advanced Dental Concepts
May 20, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Tooth loss is an unfortunate fact of life--one that dedicated Andover, MA dentists, such as Dr. Richard D. Hopgood, try to avoid. While preventive dentistry accomplishes much toward vibrant oral health, sometimes decay, gum disease and accidents injure teeth and gums.Dentures

Research from the American College of Prosthodontists, experts in tooth replacement options, shows that 178 million Americans have lost at least one permanent tooth. Many millions have lost all their teeth, or are fully edentulous.

The solution? For some it's state of the art dental implants. For others, fixed bridgework attached to natural teeth spans smile gaps. Still more patients opt for modern dentures, full or partial replacement teeth custom-crafted to look, fit and function like natural teeth.

Types of Dentures

In general, dentures are made from gum and tooth-colored acrylic. Fabricated by master dental technicians according to Dr. Hopgood's specific treatment plan and oral impressions of the patient's mouth, dentures replace one or more teeth and help support facial muscles and skin so patients do not develop premature wrinkling and sagging. However, traditional dentures which rest on top of the alveolar ridge and gums do not prevent the gum and bone recession inevitable with tooth loss.

Andover dentist, Dr. Hopgood, offers several options to his tooth replacement patients, depending on need and preference:

  • Immediate dentures, placed right after tooth extraction, allow the patient to go home with a full set of teeth in his or her mouth. In fact, these dentures actually help speed the healing of gums and bone, acting as a band-aid of sorts. However, as soft tissues and bone recede, immediate dentures require relining or even replacement to achieve proper fit.
  • Conventional dentures are placed after tooth extraction sites are fully healed. This ensures proper fit of these acrylic appliances which rely on the mouth's natural suction for bite stability.
  • Implant-supported full dentures utilize innovative dental implants. Surgically-inserted in multiples right into the patient's jaw bone, dental implants anchor permanent or removable dentures.
  • Partial dentures are generally removable. They are made of acrylic and affixed to a metal frame. Clasps hold the appliance to adjoining healthy teeth.

Crucial Care

Natural teeth require daily brushing and so do dentures. Dr. Hopgood advises use of an ADA-approved denture paste or soak, and of course, patients should thoroughly clean remaining teeth, tongue, gums and other soft tissues of the mouth. If brushing after meals is not feasible, rinsing the mouth and denture well with water helps remove food residues. With good care, dentures last for 10 years or more.

Wondering about Dentures?

Andover, MA dentist, Dr. Richard D. Hopgood, and his team at Advanced Dental Concepts urge patients with failing teeth to come to the office for a restorative dentistry consultation. You'll receive compassionate and expert evaluation and care all through the tooth replacement process. Call (978) 475-2431 for a convenient appointment.


By Advanced Dental Concepts
May 14, 2016
Category: Oral Health
NoGleeinToothGrinding

Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.

“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.

Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.

Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.

Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.

If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.

When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.

Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.