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