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

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Posts for: November, 2016

By Advanced Dental Concepts
November 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canals  

Find out why root canals are sometimes necessary for the health of your smile.

 

No one likes the idea of getting a root canal, but either due to decay or from an accident sometimes this procedure is necessary to preserve the health of your smile. Here is why our Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Richard Hopgood, believes that a root canal treatment could be the difference between needing a tooth extraction and having your own tooth for the rest of your life.

We understand that hearing the words root canal can instill fear in some people, but when the expert and caring hands of our Andover, MA dentist performs your root canal, you know that you will get a dental treatment that is effective and painless. Before a root canal even takes place the first step is to numb the area that we are about to treat. This can be an instant relief for anyone who is already experiencing considerable pain or sensitivity in the affected tooth.

Why is a root canal performed?

A root canal is often the best treatment for saving a tooth that would otherwise die or need to be extracted if not treated. While some people are under the assumption that an infected tooth would be better removed, having a tooth extraction can cause far more complications for your smile. Root canals are highly successful and can potentially let you keep your natural tooth for life. If you are dealing with a tooth that is damaged by decay, injury or infection, we may recommend that you get a root canal treatment.

Common signs that it’s time to come into our office for an emergency visit include:

  • Dental pain
  • Tenderness or swelling of the gums
  • An abscess on the gums surrounding the infected tooth
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then it’s time you turned to Advanced Dental Concepts in Andover, MA for help. You may or may not need a root canal, but a toothache is a warning sign that something just isn’t right and shouldn’t be ignored. If you are dealing with any new symptoms, be sure to let us know when you give us a call.


By Advanced Dental Concepts
November 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
JohnnysTeethArentRottenAnyMore

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?


By Advanced Dental Concepts
November 11, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Nutrition   sugar  
ReduceSugarConsumption-foraHealthierMouthandBody

Tooth decay doesn't appear out of nowhere. It begins with bacteria, which produce acid that softens and erodes tooth enamel. Without adequate enamel protection, cavities can develop.

So, one of our prevention goals is to decrease populations of disease-causing bacteria. One way is to deprive them of carbohydrates, a prime food source, most notably refined sugar. That's why for decades dentists have instructed patients to limit their intake of sugar, especially between meal snacks.

Ironically, we're now consuming more rather than less sugar from a generation ago. The higher consumption impacts more than dental health — it's believed to be a contributing factor in many health problems, especially in children. Thirty years ago it was nearly impossible to find a child in the U.S. with type 2 diabetes: today, there are over 50,000 documented juvenile cases.

Cutting back isn't easy. For one thing, we're hard-wired for sweet-tasting foods. Our ancestors trusted such foods when there was limited food safety knowledge. Most of us today still have our "sweet tooth."

There's also another factor: the processed food industry. When food researchers concluded fats were a health hazard the government changed dietary guidelines. Food processors faced a problem because they used fats as a flavor enhancer. To restore flavor they began adding small amounts of sugar to foods like lunch meat, bread, tomato sauce and peanut butter. Today, three-quarters of the 600,000 available processed food items contain some form of added sugar.

Although difficult given your available supermarket choices, limiting your sugar intake to the recommended 6 teaspoons a day will reduce your risk for dental and some general diseases. There are things you can do: replace processed foods with more fresh fruits and vegetables; read food labels for sugar content to make better purchasing decisions; drink water for hydration rather than soda (which can contain two-thirds of your daily recommended sugar allowance), sports drinks or juices; and exercise regularly.

Keeping your sugar consumption under control will help you reduce the risk of tooth decay. You'll be helping your overall health too.

If you would like more information on the effect of sugar on health, 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 Bitter Truth about Sugar.”