Monday, March 28, 2016

CEREC Technology Enables One-Day Dental Restorations


Joshua Grooms, DDS, treats patients as an associate of ABC Family Dentistry in Greeneville, Tennessee. A skilled dental professional, Joshua Grooms, DDS, provides comprehensive care using the latest innovations in dentistry, including CEREC.

Standing for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, CEREC is a dental technology that employs computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to provide dental restorations, including inlays, onlays, and crowns, in one appointment. Before creating a restorative tooth, the dentist uses the handheld CEREC Omnicam or Bluecam to acquire an image of the area to be restored.

The image is then sent through advanced computer software that analyzes the image to calculate exact specifications for the restorative tooth. Once the specifications have been calculated, CEREC creates a digital model of the prepared tooth, which the dentist uses to create a restoration while the patient waits chairside.

CEREC’s CAM programming guides three grinding units to mill the restoration out of a solid block of ceramic material. The finished product is completed in minutes and provides a durable restoration that matches the patient's other teeth. As a final step, the dentist tests the tooth to ensure a proper fit and bite before polishing it and bonding it into place.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Importance of Regular Dental X-Rays


As a member of ABC Family Dentistry in Greeneville, Tennessee, Joshua Grooms, DDS, helps patients to achieve long-term oral health through diagnostic, preventative, and treatment care. Joshua Grooms, DDS, and his colleagues use digital X-rays, which support the diagnostic process with increasingly accurate imaging.

Dental X-rays function as a key element of a complete dental care experience. They allow a dentist to visualize the spaces inside and between teeth, as well as the bony ridges and root systems that support the teeth themselves. Dentists use these images to check for decay in areas that are not perceptible to the naked eye, while also assessing for any abscesses or masses that might compromise the stability of the teeth.

When used as part of the diagnostic process, dental X-rays provide practitioners with a baseline from which to assess a patient's oral health. They can support the visualization of decay or impacted teeth before they present a problem, thus indicating early intervention and often preventing the need for extensive restoration. When performed yearly, or more often if the patient's situation indicates, they can be instrumental in the maintenance of dental as well as periodontal and general oral health.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tips for Proper Denture Care


As a practitioner with ABC Family Dentistry in Greenville, Tennessee, Joshua Grooms, DDS, helps patients care for both natural and replacement teeth. Joshua Grooms, DDS, draws on extensive experience treating patients with dentures, having built early-career experience as an associate with prominent dental offices such as Aspen Dental.

Although dentures are artificial teeth and thus immune to decay, broken or dirty dentures can negatively impact the overall health of the mouth. Dentures that do not receive regular cleaning collect bacteria and tartar, which can then spread to the underlying tissues and cause irritation or infection. The same may occur in patients who have dentures and neglect to rinse and massage the gums or in those with partial dentures who do not brush and floss their remaining natural teeth.

Denture wearers need to be similarly aware of any changes in the way their appliances fit. The structure of bones and gums can subtly shift with time, whether due to natural aging processes or periodontal disease. These shifts can cause an improper fit that may lead to pain, sores, and even abdominal discomfort caused by the swallowing of air. Experts recommend that denture wearers visit their dentists at least annually for fit checks, adjustments, and a thorough cleaning.                            

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tooth Extractions - What to Expect


Joshua Grooms, DDS, practices as a member of ABC Family Dentistry, PLLC, in Greeneville, Tennessee. As part of his practice, Joshua Grooms, DDS, regularly performs extractions and other treatment procedures.

The first step of a tooth extraction involves the dentist anesthetizing the area. Many extractions require only a local numbing agent, though more complex procedures require general anesthesia. Once the medication has taken effect, the dentist will being cutting away any gum or bone tissue that covers the tooth.

After the tooth is fully exposed, the dentist uses a tool known as a dental elevator to loosen the tooth from its place within the jaw bone, in much the same way a camper loosens a tent peg before pulling it from the ground. The elevator allows the dentist to push the tooth against the bone and thus compress the spongy bone tissue. When the dentist has created enough space to loosen the tooth, he or she uses extraction forceps to rock and twist the tooth. This ultimately separates the tooth from the bone and allows the dentist to draw the tooth out of the socket.

After the dentist has removed the tooth, he or she can remove infected material by scraping the socket's walls. The dentist can then re-compress the socket, smooth roughened bone edges, and irrigate the socket to remove loose fragments. Once the site is clean, the dentist will place any necessary stitches and ask the patient to bite on a piece of gauze, which begins the clotting and healing process.