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Posts for: August, 2021

By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 27, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth wear  
3DentalProblemsThatCouldBeCausingExcessiveDentalWear

If you do the right things—keep your teeth clean, see the dentist regularly, and eat a "tooth-friendly" diet—you stand a good chance of having healthy teeth and gums later in life. Even so, after eating well over 75,000 meals by age 70, you can expect some wear from all that biting and chewing.

But there's normal wear—and then there's excessive wear, which can be caused by a variety of factors. When it occurs, accelerated wear can increase your risk of dental disease—and your shorter-toothed smile can make you look older than your actual age.

Here are 3 dental problems that can lead to accelerated tooth wear, and what you can do about them.

Tooth decay. This dental disease can severely weaken a tooth's protective enamel surface, which can in turn increase wear. You can minimize your chances of developing tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and undergoing regular dental cleanings. And the sooner you receive treatment for any diagnosed decay, the less likely your enamel will suffer significant damage.

Poor bite. Properly aligned teeth mesh well together while biting and chewing, which minimizes wearing. But misalignments put undue stress on teeth that can lead to accelerated wear. By correcting a bite problem through orthodontics, we can properly align teeth so that they interact with each other normally for less wear.

Teeth grinding. This unconscious habit of gnashing or grinding teeth (often during sleep) can produce abnormally high biting forces. Among other adverse outcomes, this can also increase teeth wearing. If you grind your teeth, there are therapeutic methods that could reduce the habit. You can also obtain a custom night guard to reduce biting forces while you sleep.

If you've already experienced excessive dental wear, there are cosmetic options like porcelain veneers or dental bonding that can restore your smile to a more youthful appearance and help protect your teeth. But if you haven't reached that point, you can make sure you don't by taking care of your teeth and gums and seeking prompt dental treatment for problems leading to accelerated wear.

If you would like more information on teeth wear, 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 “How and Why Teeth Wear.”


By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 23, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Root canals not only end pain but also help you avoid tooth loss. During a root canal, your dentist will remove your pulp, clean and shape the interior of your tooth, and restore it with a rubber-based filling material.

You should visit your Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Richard Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, if you notice any of these signs and symptoms:

Your tooth hurts A cavity isn't the only cause of a toothache. Your tooth may also hurt if the soft pulp at the center of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. Pain due to an inflammation or infection can be severe and throbbing when you need a root canal, but that's not always the case. At first, the pain may be mild or might come and go. As the inflammation or infection worsens, you will notice more intense or continual pain.

You have sore gums The inflammation or infection deep inside your tooth may also cause the gums surrounding the tooth to become inflamed. Your gums may be red, tender, and swollen if you need a root canal.

Eating has become unpleasant Tooth sensitivity is a common symptom of an infected or inflamed tooth. Every time you eat or drink a hot, cold, or sugary food or beverage, your pain may get worse. Pain may even last as long as 30 minutes after you finish your meal or drink.

You've had multiple dental procedures Your root canal risk can increase if you've had more than one dental procedure on the same tooth.

Your tooth doesn't look the same Darkening of your tooth could be due to an inflammation or infection. Be sure to get in touch with your dentist at the Andover, MA, dental office to schedule an appointment if you notice a change in tooth color.

You're in pain and don't feel so great You'll need a root canal if you have a bacterial infection called an abscess. Without emergency treatment, the infection could spread throughout your body. Symptoms of an abscess may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, tooth pain, pus, a bump on the gums, or facial swelling.

Protect your smile with a root canal! Call your dentist in Andover, MA, Dr. Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, at (978) 475-2431 to schedule your appointment.


By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 19, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dental Crowns  

If you're concerned about a damaged tooth or want to improve the appearance of your smile, dental crowns provide an excellent solution. Your dentist in Andover, MA, Dr. Richard Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, offers dental crowns.

How dental crowns work

Crowns, also called caps, fit over the top of teeth, covering them completely. Made of durable materials like porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and resin, crowns are designed to last 10 years or longer.

When you visit us for your dental crown, your dentist in Andover, MA, will make your tooth a little smaller. Decreasing the size of the tooth makes it easier for the crown to fit comfortably. Your dentist will also make an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to dental laboratory technicians who will create your new crowns. You'll need to wear temporary crowns until your permanent ones are ready in about two weeks. Permanent crowns are attached to your teeth using dental cement.

The many ways crowns can help your smile

Your dentist may recommend dental crowns if you have any of these tooth issues:

  • Damaged Teeth: Have you broken one or more of your teeth? A dental crown can replace lost tooth structure and restore the natural appearance and function of your teeth.
  • Fragile Teeth: Fragile teeth can break very easily. Luckily, adding a crown to a weak or fragile tooth can help prevent breaks from happening. Your tooth can become fragile due to a crack, a large filling, or root canal therapy. As you age, your teeth may become brittle, making them more likely to break.
  • Lost Teeth: Dental crowns are also used to replace missing teeth. They can anchor bridges and be paired with dental implants to create brand-new synthetic teeth.
  • Appearance Issues: A crown may be a good option if a tooth is discolored, short, or oddly shaped. Have a few of your teeth become shorter due to wear and tear or grinding while you sleep? Crowns improve the look of your smile.

Transform your smile with dental crowns! Call your Andover, MA, dentist, Dr. Hopgood of Advanced Dental Concepts, at (978) 475-2431 to schedule your appointment.


By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 17, 2021
Category: Oral Health
EmmaRobertsConfessestoHavingaMajorSweetToothWhileExpecting

Emma Roberts, star of American Horror Story (and niece of actress Julia Roberts), welcomed her first child at the end of 2020. She confessed that her love of sweets made pregnancy challenging. She couldn't get enough of cupcakes with sprinkles and a Salt & Straw ice cream flavor called The Great Candycopia. But Roberts isn't unique. Hormonal changes in pregnancy often bring heightened cravings for certain foods. Unfortunately, this can increase an expectant mother's risk for dental disease, especially if they're consuming more sugary foods.

In fact, around four in ten expectant women will develop a form of periodontal disease called pregnancy gingivitis. It begins with dental plaque, a thin film that forms on tooth surfaces filled with oral bacteria that can infect the gums. And what do these bacteria love to eat? Yep—sugar, the same thing many women crave during pregnancy.

So, if you're expecting a baby, what can you do to minimize your risk for dental disease?

Practice oral hygiene. Removing dental plaque by brushing and flossing daily is the most important thing you can do personally to prevent both tooth decay and gum disease. It's even more important given the physical and hormonal changes that occur when you're pregnant. Be sure, then, that you're diligent about brushing and flossing every day without fail.

Control your sugar intake. If you have strong cravings for sweets, cutting back may be about as easy as stopping an elephant on a rampage through the jungle. But do give your best effort to eating more dairy- and protein-rich foods rather than refined carbohydrates like pastries or candies. Not only will reducing sugar help you avoid dental disease, these other foods will help strengthen your teeth.

Maintain regular dental visits. Seeing us for regular cleanings further reduces your disease risk. We can clean your teeth of any plaque deposits you might have missed, especially hardened plaque called tartar that's nearly impossible to remove with brushing and flossing. We'll also monitor your teeth and gums for any developing disease that requires further treatment.

Undergo needed treatments. Concerned for their baby's safety, many expectant mothers are hesitant about undergoing dental procedures. But both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association endorse necessary dental treatments during pregnancy, even if they include local anesthesia. We will make you have only a safe type of anesthesia, and we can advise you when it is prudent to postpone certain treatments, such as some elective procedures, until after the baby is born.

Emma Roberts got through a healthy pregnancy—cravings and all—and is now enjoying her new baby boy. Whether you're a celebrity like Emma Roberts or not, expecting a baby is an exciting life moment. Follow these tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your pregnancy, and be sure to let the dental team know of your pregnancy before any treatment.

If you would like more information about dental care during pregnancy, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pregnancy and Oral Health.”


By Advanced Dental Concepts
August 07, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
4TipstoGettingtheDentalCareYouNeedEvenonaTightBudget

If your budget gets squeezed, cutting non-essential expenses can be a wise move. But think twice before lumping dental care into that category—postponing dental visits or treatment could put your long-term dental health at risk.

True, dental treatments can get expensive, so it's tempting to let a routine visit slide or put off treatment for an obvious problem. But dental problems usually don't go away on their own—rather, they worsen. When you do get around to treatment, you'll pay and endure more than if you had tackled the issue earlier.

The key isn't cutting out dental care altogether, but to sync your limited financial resources with your dental needs. Here are 4 tips to help you do that.

Focus on the long-term. Twice-a-year cleanings and checkups are the minimum investment you should make toward good dental health. Besides lowering your disease risk, these appointments are key to a long-term care plan. By evaluating your on-going health and assessing your personal risk for dental disease, we can formulate a plan that addresses current problems and prevents future ones.

Take care of your mouth. The single most important thing you can do to protect yourself against destructive dental diseases is to practice daily oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing removes dental plaque, the bacterial film on teeth most responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. You can further boost healthy teeth and gums by eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals.

Restore teeth temporarily. We may be able to treat or restore affected teeth with temporary materials that give you time to prepare financially for a more permanent solution later. Durable but low-cost materials like resin bonded glass ionomers for repairing decayed teeth, or a partial denture to replace teeth can get you by until you're ready for a crown or dental implants.

Manage your costs. There are different ways to minimize your dental expenses or spread them out over time to make it easier on your budget. You may be able to lower expenses with dental insurance or a dental savings plan. Your provider may also have payment plans that allow you to finance your fees over time.

If you would like more information on affordable dental care, 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 “Cost-Saving Treatment Alternatives.”