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

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Posts for: April, 2019

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
April 10, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouthguards  
AprilIsNationalFacialProtectionMonth

April brings the perfect weather to get outside and play. Fittingly, April is also National Facial Protection Month. Whether you prefer softball or basketball, skateboarding or ultimate frisbee, don't forget your most important piece of equipment: a mouthguard to protect your face and your smile!

In an instant, a blow to the mouth can cause a dental injury that is painful to endure and expensive to treat. In just about any sporting activity, your mouth could come into contact with a piece of equipment, another person or the ground. That's why the American Dental Association and the Academy for Sports Dentistry recommend using a mouthguard when participating in any of over 30 activities, including some that aren't typically considered contact sports, like volleyball and bike riding.

Common sense, observation and scientific research support the use of mouthguards during sporting activities—but are the ones you get from your dentist really any better than the kind you can grab off the shelf at a sporting goods store or drugstore? The answer is yes!

In a 2018 experiment, researchers created a model of the human head to test how direct impact affects the teeth, jaws and skull. They compared the effects of impact when using no mouthguard, when using a custom-made mouthguard available from the dentist, and when using a stock mouthguard. They also tested mouthguards of different thicknesses. The results? The experimenters determined that any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard and that custom mouthguards available from the dental office are more effective than off-the-shelf mouthguards in protecting teeth, jaws and skull from impact. They also found that the thicker the mouthguard, the better the protection.

Although custom mouthguards are more expensive than the kind you can buy at the corner store, the difference in protection, durability, comfort and fit is well worth the investment. We consider your (or your child's) individual needs, take a precise model of your mouth and provide you with a custom-fit mouthguard of the highest quality material.

Don't ruin your game. A mouthguard can go a long way in protecting your teeth and mouth from injury. If you would like more information about a sports mouthguard, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Mouthguards” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”