Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening
Ask most people what they want to change about their teeth and one of the most common answers is definitely the color.  Everyone wants whiter teeth but most people don’t know much about what options exist. Lets first get into what is the difference when you buy an over the counter product vs. a in-office treatment system.  First and foremost the active ingredients are almost always the same. If you look at the over the counter box the active ingredient is most likely either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These over the counter products contain a lower percentage (usually between 6% and 10%) of this active ingredient than what you can get with an professional strength whitening system (usually between 22%-40%)  What this means is that in-office whitening systems are faster but maybe not more effective. The biggest advantage is you don’t have to leave the gel on as long or for as many days to get the desired results. However, the higher concentration of acti…
Teeth Cleanings
Dental cleanings are typically a patients favorite appointment in a dental office. Beyond just making your teeth shine and feel squeaky clean, a prophylaxis (the technical term) is used to promote a healthy dentition and gum health.  
Most people don't realize what happens when they miss a cleaning or two.  First an foremost tartar builds up!!!  Dental plaques are soft and easily removed at home with proper brushing and flossing techniques.  However, tartar is calcified and adheres to the teeth so well that no amount of brushing or flossing will do the job.  This is where your dentist or dental hygienist come into play.  There are specialized dental instruments that can remove these deposits.  This is not just important for helping removed stains caused by dental tartar, but also to remove the colonies of bacteria living on these hard deposits.  If these continue to grow, over time it can lead to gum disease such as gingivitis or even periodontal disease.  If you a…
Remote Area Medical (RAM Clinic)
Last month I had the opportunity to provide free dental services through a traveling clinic here in Gray, TN.  I had volunteered with this organization before and was very impressed. 

My experience is that RAM is one of the most organized and well ram clinics I have seen.  From the moment I arrived, they are very welcoming and appreciative to have volunteers.  They have a complete system from triaging patients, making great patient records, organizing the dispensing of dental materials/instruments, and sterilization.  RAM has become a well oiled machine and it makes volunteering for them easy and rewarding.

As much as I can brag about what a great clinic Remote Area Medical runs, its not what brings out all the's the patients.  People come from hours away, camp over night, wait in long lines all because they are in need.  We all know that there is a need for patients in our community but until you see how many people show up and wh…

The benefits of replacing those old dentures

Dr. Grooms treats a wide variety of dental issues at his practice.  One of which, includes taking care of those patients who have been without teeth for many years and have dentures sometimes older than he is.  As dentures are worn throughout the years they stain, wear and sometimes break.  As the teeth wear down, the bite will collapse causing an aging smile, sunken in face, and sometimes even pain in the jaw joints.  If you believe any of these apply to your situation, you should consider replacing your old worn denture.  Below is a picture of a denture, Dr. Joshua Grooms did this week.  The old denture was 30+ years old and the patient was more than ready for a new set.

Toothbrushes, are they all the same?

Dr. Joshua Grooms would like to take some time this week to discuss toothbrushes.  His patients are always asking "Which toothbrush do you recommend?".  Every dentist may have a different opinion on exactly which brush you should be using.  Dr. Grooms, more importantly than telling you a certain name brand to go buy, wants to let you know what things to look for when picking out your next brush.

1.  SOFT BRISTLES - soft or even extra-soft bristles are so important.  Some patients go for the medium or even hard bristles thinking it will help remove the plaque and grime from their teeth better.  The truth is that plaque is relatively easy to remove with a soft bristle brush if the proper technique and time is taken to do so.  Hard bristles increase the risk of gum recession or even wearing down the enamel over time (toothbrush abrasion).

2.  DON'T BRUSH TOO AGGRESSIVELY - if you are a "scrubber" or have signs of brushing to hard, you may want to consider a brush …

Actual crown procedure performed this week by Dr. Joshua Grooms

So this week Dr. Grooms discussed crown restorations.  He wanted to share these images with you of an actual case he performed this week.

The tooth started out with a large silver filling and broken tooth structure.

The tooth was then reduced in all dimensions to support an all ceramic crown restoration

Finally using Cerec technology a porcelain crown was milled in office and cemented same day!!!

My dentist says I need a Crown....What does that mean???????
Everyday in my practice I have to make the decision whether or not it is time for a tooth to receive a crown instead of just a large filling.  I have, on more than one occasion, ran into hesitant patients, who don't want to invest in a crown.  Let me explain what exactly what a crown is and answer some common questions.

1.  Can I just have a cap instead?
 - You may hear the word "cap" used by your friends/family or even by your dentist.  What is the difference?  Absolutely nothing.  "Cap" is used to try to describe what a crown is.  When we place a crown on a tooth, it completely covers the coronal portion (top part) of the tooth, therefore we say think of it like a baseball cap covering your head.

2.  Why can't I just put a large filling in, it's much cheaper?
-Fillings are a great way to restore a tooth when the amount of tooth structure lost is small.  After a large portion of tooth struct…