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



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By Advanced Dental Concepts
May 20, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: bridge   dental implant  

Losing a tooth can be traumatic, but a dental implant can dramatically turn that experience around. Providing functionality, life-like appearance and durability, implants stand out as the premier restoration for lost teeth.

For adults, that is. An older child or teenager with a missing tooth may need to wait a few more years for an implant. The reason: jaw development. A person's jaws, particular the upper jaw, continue to grow with most growth completed by early adulthood. Natural teeth with their periodontal attachments develop right alongside the jaw.

But because an implant attaches directly to the jawbone, its position is fixed: it won't change as the jaw grows and may gradually appear to sink below the gum line. That's why we wait to place an implant until most of jaw maturity has occurred after full jaw maturity. For females, we try to wait until 20 years of age and for males, usually 21 years of age. These are guidelines as some people mature faster and some slower, so a discussion with your dentist or surgeon is necessary to make an educated decision.

While we wait, we can install a temporary replacement for a child's or teenager's lost tooth, usually a partial denture or fixed modified ("Maryland") bridge. The latter affixes a prosthetic (false) tooth in the missing tooth space by attaching it to the back of natural teeth on either side with bonded dental material. It differs from a traditional bridge in that these supporting teeth aren't permanently altered and crowned to support the bridge.

During the time before implants we should understand that the area where the implant will be placed will undergo some bone deterioration, a common consequence of missing teeth. Forces generated as we chew travel through the teeth to stimulate renewing bone growth all along the jawbone. But with a lost tooth the chewing stimulation ceases at that part of the bone, slowing the growth rate and leading to gradual bone loss.

Fortunately, the titanium posts of dental implants stimulate bone growth as bone cells naturally grow and adhere to their surfaces. Before then, though, if the bone volume is diminished, we may need to graft bone material to stimulate bone growth that will enlarge the jaw bone enough for an implant to be placed.

It usually isn't a question of "if" but "when" we can provide your child with an implant for their missing tooth. In the meantime, we can prepare for that day with a temporary restoration.

If you would like more information on dental restorations for teenagers, 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 “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
December 11, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: oral hygiene  

If there’s one essential tool for protecting your dental health, it’s the humble toothbrush. The basic manual brush with a long, slender handle and short-bristled head is still effective when used skillfully. The market, though, is full of choices, all of them touting their brand as the best.

So how do you choose? You can cut through any marketing hype with a few simple guidelines.

First, understand what you’re trying to accomplish with brushing: removing dental plaque, that thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces that’s the main cause of dental disease. Brushing also stimulates gum tissue and helps reduce inflammation.

With that in mind, you’ll first want to consider the texture of a toothbrush’s bristles, whether they’re stiff (hard) or more pliable (soft). You might think the firmer the better for removing plaque, but actually a soft-bristled brush is just as effective in this regard. Stiffer bristles could also damage the gums over the long term.

Speaking of bristles, look for those that have rounded tips. In a 2016 study, less rounded tips increased gum recession in the study’s participants by 30%. You should also look for toothbrushes with different bristle heights: longer bristles at the end can be more effective cleaning back teeth.

As far as size and shape, choose a brush that seems right and comfortable for you when you hold it. For children or people with dexterity problems, a handle with a large grip area can make the toothbrush easier to hold and use.

And look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, something you may have seen on some toothpaste brands. It means the toothbrush in question has undergone independent testing and meets the ADA’s standards for effectiveness. That doesn’t mean a particular brush without the seal is sub-standard—when in doubt ask your dentist on their recommendation.

Even a quality toothbrush is only as effective as your skill in using it. Your dental provider can help, giving you tips and training for getting the most out of your brush. With practice, you and your toothbrush can effectively remove disease-causing plaque and help keep your smile beautiful and healthy.

If you would like more information on what to look for in a toothbrush, 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 “Sizing up Toothbrushes.”

By Advanced Dental Concepts
September 02, 2018
Category: Uncategorized

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

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
September 15, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Get a Glowing Smile with GLO Whitening System
Many of our patients desire a pearly white smile, but don’t know where to begin. New procedures in dental care allow Andover patients to finally get that smile they’ve always wanted. There are many daily rituals that you are doing that continue to make your teeth dull and unappealing. Drinks like coffee, tea and red wine are known to stain your teeth over time. In fact, over time teeth can become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from certain foods and drinks. Using tobacco has also been proven to cause unwanted stains, which is all the more reason to stop using tobacco products.
A whitening treatment in Andover is able to effectively restore stained, dull or discolored teeth. At our office, we offer the GLO teeth whitening system. GLO whitening has proven to be a successful teeth-whitening system that can be done at home, or we can do it in the office.
What is GLO Whitening?
GLO whitening combines the professional elements of heat and light built into a closed-system mouthpiece that accelerates the whitening process. It does this by preventing the whitening oxygen from escaping the tooth surface, attacking the stains left behind by foods and drinks, and makes your whitening process more effective and more efficient.
GLO is used with a whitening gel that contains a minty fresh formula that stays put and adheres to your teeth without getting on gums or other soft tissue. This allows for the whitening experience to be comfortable and easy.
When you use the GLO whitening system, here is what you can expect:

    Patented Mouthpiece: The GLO mouthpiece is made from flexible plastic and contains the activating light and heat elements that accelerate the whitening gel. GLO whitens the full surface of your bottom and top teeth all at once.
    G-Vial Delivery System: Our alcohol- and carbamide peroxide-free formula adheres to your teeth and doesn’t run onto your gums, eliminating sensitivity.
    Control: The GLO controller features a hands-free design and pre-timed eight minute session intervals. It comes with a recharging dock that connects to a wall outlet or a USB port on your computer for easy use during travel.
    Lip Care: A soothing lip treatment, made with shea butter, is included for everyday use and during your treatments for whitening teeth in Andover.

If GLO whitening sounds great to you, or to learn more about it, contact our office today by calling (978) 475-2431. Or ask at your next appointment!