Monday, March 5, 2018

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 aren't familiar with these terms you don't want to be!!! Gingivitis is common and can be treated and reversed, but once peridontal disease causes damage it can never be undone. 

This is why it is best to stay on a regular dental cleaning cycle even if you have excellent home care.  Also, your dentist also gets a chance to perform a periodic dental examination.  If you would happen to develop a cavity it is always best to catch it small and before symptoms arise.  When it starts to hurt, it can be much more costly and invasive of a problem to fix.  

If you are past due by a couple of weeks, months, or even years don't hesitate ot make an appointment with Dr. Grooms.  He can evaluate your dental condition and place your on a regular cleaning or gum therapy treatment that will help your obtain and maintain a healthy mouth.

Monday, December 4, 2017

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 what they are willing to do to get treatment, it is hard to grasp how great the need is.  Everyone I encountered was very appreciative.  Most had been suffering from pain for months and some for years. 

As a dentist it can be hard to provide free services at our own practices due to the overhead of running a business. Thankfully there are organizations like these that allow communities to come together and care for those who have no other means of getting the healthcare they need.

I look forward to participating again next year hopefully

Joshua Grooms, DDS

Friday, August 4, 2017

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.

Monday, July 17, 2017

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).

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 that can help break that habit.  There are toothbrushes on the market that are designed to let you know when you are brushing too hard.  One such brush is the Oral B Genius.  Along with many other technical features, this brush with light up, slow down, and if connected with a smart device- indicate on the app that you are brushing too aggressively.  This is a great way to retrain yourself.  If you decide you want to stay with a manual brush make sure you are using the right technique.  This includes:  Tilting the brush at 45 degree angle against the gumline and sweeping or rolling the brush away from the gum.  Use gentle, short (tooth wide) strokes. 

3. TAKE YOUR TIME - Joshua Grooms, DDS thinks every tooth brush needs a timer.  Now if you prefer manual brushing over electric than go get a kitchen timer and set it for 2 minutes every time you brush.  Most adults do not take nearly enough time brushing every morning and every evening.  Once again, there are brushes on the market that will help with this.  The Oral B as discussed above and another one of Dr. Grooms' favorite brushes the Sonicare by Philips both have built in timers.

4. Make sure it's safe - The American Dental Association will put their label on dental products that meet certain safety criteria.  When it comes to brushes that look for the following: 
Acceptance, the company must show that:
  • All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth
  • Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints
  • The handle material is manufacturer-tested to show durability under normal use
  • The bristles won’t fall out with normal use
  • The toothbrush can be used without supervision by the average adult to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

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 structure is missing or if a chewing cusp is lost, fillings become too weak and will break on function.  A crown is used instead to help hold everything together and prevent future tooth cracking/breaking.

3.  Do I have to have a root canal to have a crown done?
-No!!!.  While most teeth that have had root canals performed, do need crowns.... not all teeth that needs crowns, need root canals.  Root canals are used to treat pain/infection and nerve conditions inside of the teeth.  If the tooth is just broken and does not have any pain/infection or nerve problems, you may be able to solve the problem with a crown alone.  Your dentist will evaluate the nerve and make a proper treatment plan based off the findings

4.  Will it still look like a tooth?
-Yes.  While there are many different types of materials (white and gold colored), crowns are made to mimic the natural tooth anatomy.

Now that I have covered some common questions I get asked in office, let me show you what is involved.

First any soft decay is removed from the tooth.  We then carefully prepare the tooth by reducing it in all dimensions to support the crown.  After the tooth is prepared, an impression is made and a crown is fabricated.  We use special dental cements to glue the crown to your tooth and bring it back to normal appearance and function.    The teeth above demonstrate from left to right 1. A broken tooth, 2 A prepared tooth with a cap being placed. 3. A cemented crown

If you have a broken tooth or have been told that you need a crown, feel free to contact Dr. Joshua Grooms at ABC Family Dentistry.  423-639-2176

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Root Canals 😨


I know the last thing people want to hear when the come to the dentist is that they need a root canal.  I believe part of this is because of a huge negative connotation that has been created in our society with root canals and pain.  Another part is that most people have no clue what is happening during a root canal procedure.  Let me help calm you fears and let you know what it is we are doing to help relieve or prevent future pain.  
1.  When do I need a root canal?
- Root canals are needed when the pulp (the nerve and blood vessels) in the tooth are inflamed and dying or dead and necrotic.   During the inflammation stage pain to cold and sometimes hot is very common.  This is typically what gets patients in the door.  The pain can be sever and linger after every drink, food item, or breath of cold air hits the tooth.  If you are having this symptom you should be seen right away for further evaluation.  After the nerve is dead, the pain tends to change.  The hot/cold sensitivity may subside and change to spontaneous constant throbbing pain and pain on chewing.  Typically infection will form at the base of the root causing severe pain.  Pain is not always an indicator.  I have seen people with large infections and no pain.  Pain or no pain when the nerve is dead and infection is setting in, its time for a root canal if you want to save the tooth

2.  What happens during a root canal
- First getting you comfortable is our top priority.  A local anesthetic is administered to numb the nerve so you should feel no pain during the procedure.  Let your dentist know if the numbing is not working well so we can address your comfort level.  After you are nice and numb we enter a tunnel system in your tooth that carries the pulp tissue.  The pulp is then removed and the inside of the tooth is disinfected, dried, and filled with a material to help keep bacteria out and infection from coming back.   Sounds not too bad right?  After the root canal is finished you will need a filling or a crown to restore the tooth (your dentist will let you know what is needed).

 Please don't let the idea of getting a root canal scare you into getting the tooth pulled.  I think most people will find the root canal experience better than they anticipated and are glad they saved a tooth.  If you have any further questions or think you may need a root canal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Grooms at ABC family Dentistry.  Call our office today 423-639-2176