1430 West Baddour Parkway Lebanon, TN 37087 www.mylebanontndentist.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Motorized toothbrushes...I don't need one of those

As a dentist, I was under the impression I had the hand skills and knowledge of dental anatomy to think that I was doing just fine with a normal toothbrush. I held this opinion for a long time...until recently. My hygienists recommend them to many of their patients and even use motorized toothbrushes themselves. But for me, nah I'm good. I'm a dentist that practices what he preaches, I brush three times a day more often than twice, floss daily, scrub my tongue, use mouth rinse; my mouth is clean, or so I thought.

I recently decided to take the plunge. I got a motorized toothbrush, in fact I got two. In this installment of the blog, I am going to compare and contrast the two most popular motorized toothbrushes on the market: Sonicare Platinum and Oral B Braun Triumph Professional Care. My goal of this is not to endorse one or the other but to give my personal experience with the two for the general public.

So, day one, I brought home The Oral B brush. Like any brave man, I let my wife use it first. After she finished she said, "Wow! My teeth feel so much cleaner." My reply, "Let me see that..." And away I went. This brush has a digital display or an app for your smart phone. It timed me in each quadrant so I would spend the necessary amount of time in each. When I finished each it would beep letting me know it was time to move on. From the beginning it let me know I was brushing too hard, turning red and motoring down, negative feed back I like it. I see a lot of patients who brush too hard or with too abrasive toothpaste. After I finished the display let me know I did a 4 star job, one for each quadrant, and a smiley face for sticking it out for the two minutes. But my tongue is what really let me know, 'man I am an arrogant know it all.' Motorized toothbrushes work better than my manual ever did.
Other features of the Oral B brush: at least five different toothbrush heads for personal preference/needs, 5 different settings (including one for whitening, sensitive teeth, so on), blue tooth connection to digital display or smart phone app (the app keeps stats for you for fantasy toothbrushing)

Two weeks later I got the Sonicare brush. This brush is very different than any other motorized brush. Instead of an oscillating motion, It moves the bristles perpendicular to the handle, over 30,000 times per minute. I don't think my hand was doing that with my manual toothbrush. This brush also makes the claim to sonically move fluids between teeth and disrupt the plaque. In my professional opinion it doesn't replace flossing to prevent cavities, however I do see it as a better therapy for gum disease. The first thing I had to get acclimated to was just how different it felt. After a few uses, I got used to it but I have talked to those who can not get used to it. This brush also has an internal timer, but does not have the display. It is also set at 30 seconds. It has three settings: clean (for normal), whitening (for surface stain removal), gum care (extending brushing time). I did notice more surface stain removal after about 3 uses on the whitening mode. Another feature on this model is a storage mini cabinet for the brush heads that has a UV light to kill bacteria left on your brush head.

So this has been a brief description of these. Bottom line, either one is going to give you cleaner teeth and better checkups. If you have any questions, I would be glad to entertain them. Please fine my contact info below.

Dr. Derrick Gregory is a general dentist in Lebanon, TN. His practice is focused on using the latest technologies and materials in dentistry. For more information visit his website at Gregory Dental Group or call (615) 444-0322.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What is the black line around my crown?

I get this question a lot from patients. The answer is one of two things: It is either decay that has set in under the crown or the patient is seeing the metal that is underneath the porcelain.

Yes crowns can get decay under them. I am still surprised at the number of my patients that believe once a tooth has been crowned that it is fixed forever. However, this isn't the case. The tooth that is under the crown can still become decayed. It is important to brush thoroughly at the gum line and floss as most cavities under crowns occur between your teeth. I recommend some type of fluoride treatment to my patients that have 5 or more crowns. This will help keep the tooth under the crown from decaying.

What about the metal? I thought this was a porcelain crown? Up until recent years, most crowns placed were of a type that the inner portion was a metal appearing silver with porcelain applied on the outer part of it. These can be noticeable if the gum recedes over time. Today, the trend in dentistry is moving towards crowns that are metal free. This is due to a number of reasons I won't get into here. But what is worth noting is that these crowns are metal free, are stronger, don't wear the opposing teeth as severely, and are superior esthetically. The fit can be just as good or better using modern digital technology.

Notice the light blue line and even the blue gum around one of these front teeth. This is a porcelain crown with metal underneath.

These are four all-ceramic crowns. Much more esthetic and even stronger that the metal-porcelain.

Dr. Derrick Gregory is a general dentist in Lebanon, TN. His practice is focused on using the latest technologies and materials in dentistry. For more information visit his website at Gregory Dental Group or call (615) 444-0322.