By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
November 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Porcelain VeneersHow dental veneers from your dentist in Columbia, South Carolina, can rejuvenate your smile

Are you dealing with a dull, boring smile? If so, it’s time you discovered the benefits of dental veneers! Veneers can give you a memorable, beautiful smile—an important element in establishing good relations both professionally and socially. Your smile is often what people remember most about meeting you, so you want your smile to stand out. Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, South Carolina, can help you discover the magic of dental veneers.

The Basics

So, what are dental veneers? They are thin laminates of beautiful porcelain which are cemented onto the front surfaces of your teeth. One great benefit of dental veneers is that they are a conservative dental treatment. Only minimal tooth surface is removed, just enough to accommodate the thickness of the veneers.

People love dental veneers because they offer benefits like these:

  • They give you a permanently brilliant, white smile
  • They reflect light, so they look just like natural tooth enamel
  • They resist stains, even if you drink coffee or smoke

You can also change the color and shape of your teeth with veneers. Additionally, you can hide aesthetic issues such as:

  • Chips, cracks, and fracture lines
  • Excessive tooth wear and erosion
  • Poorly aligned, rotated, or crooked teeth
  • Gaps between your teeth or tooth overlap

The Procedure

Your dental veneer journey begins with a consultation appointment to discuss the look you want to achieve, general aspects about the treatment, and how to care for your veneers. Molds are made of your teeth which allow skilled dental artisans to custom-make your veneers. Once they're created, the veneers are permanently cemented and you will be the proud owner of a gorgeous new smile!

Dental veneers can help rejuvenate your smile if it has become dull, boring, and ordinary. Veneers can help take back what the years have done to your smile, making both you and your smile look young and beautiful.

Interested? Call our Columbia Office Today!

You deserve to have your best smile, and dental veneers can help. Don’t wait to get the smile you’ve been waiting for. Get started by calling (803) 788-2555 for Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, South Carolina, today!

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
November 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
3FactorsThatCouldAffecttheSuccessofaRootCanalTreatment

A tooth with deep decay is in real peril. If the disease isn’t stopped, it can eventually infect the bone and greatly increase the risk of losing the tooth. But tooth decay removal and a root canal treatment can stop advancing decay and resulting infection in its tracks.

During this common procedure we first drill into the tooth to access the inner pulp. After removing the infected pulp tissue, we disinfect and fill the empty chamber and root canals with gutta percha. We then seal the tooth and crown it to protect against re-infection.

But while most root canals are successful and long-lasting, sometimes the tooth becomes re-infected. Here are 3 factors that could affect the long-term success of a root canal treatment.

Early treatment. Like many health problems, the sooner we detect decay and treat it, the better the outcome. A tooth in which the infection has already advanced beyond the pulp is at greater risk for re-infection than one in which the infection is localized in the pulp. Keeping up your regular dental visits as well as seeing the dentist at the first sign of abnormality—spots on the teeth or pain—can increase your chances of early diagnosis.

Tooth complications. Front teeth with their single roots and canals are much easier to access and treat than a back molar with an intricate root canal network. Root canals can also be extremely narrow making them easy to miss during treatment. In cases like this the expertise and advanced equipment of an endodontist (a specialist in root canal treatment) could help increase the odds of success in complex situations.

The aging process. Teeth do wear over time and become more brittle, making them increasingly susceptible to fracture. A previous root canal treatment on an aging tooth might also increase the fracture risk. To avoid this, it’s important for the tooth to receive a crown after the procedure to protect the tooth not only from re-infection but undue stress during chewing. In some situations, we may also need to place a post with a bonded composite buildup within the tooth to give it extra support.

Even if a tooth has these or similar complications, a root canal treatment may still be advisable. The benefits for preserving a decayed tooth often far outweigh the risks of re-infection.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
GoodBoneHealthEssentialforObtainingTeethinOneDayImplants

You've seen ads for “Teeth in One Day” that promise immediate implant placement at the same time you have the problem tooth removed. But this presumes the gums and underlying bone are healthy and able to support and protect the implant. If that's not the case, it may be ill-advised to place an implant on the same day.

Even with immediate placement, there will be a small degree of bone and gum opening or space around the implant after it's placed into the socket. This can often be remedied by placing a bone graft and sometimes a gum graft when we install the implant. It's also possible for natural healing to gradually fill in the space, but we'll need to monitor the site carefully for several weeks.

On the other hand, if we detect significant bone loss (or strongly suspect it will occur), immediate placement may not be an option — there's not enough bone or it's too weak to support an implant. In this case, it's necessary to wait on placement and focus on improving the bone health and quantity, beginning when we remove the old tooth and place a bone graft.

After completing the extraction, we typically place a bone graft in the empty socket. The graft will become a “scaffold” for new bone cells to grow upon. We may then allow about two to four months for new bone to partially replenish the area and then place the implant. The bone will continue to regenerate as it grows and attaches to the titanium implant to create a solid attachment.

If the site, however, still appears fragile even after partial bone growth, we may opt to wait another two to four months before attempting placement. From a long-term perspective, this is the best scenario for ensuring a durable foundation for the implant. It also allows for a socket severely compromised by disease to heal more thoroughly.

To determine which of these placement scenarios is best for you, we'll first need to conduct a thorough dental examination. From there we'll be in a better position to discuss the right implant timeline for your situation. Our main goal is to ensure we can securely place your implant in just the right position to achieve the most successful and attractive result.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implant Timelines for Replacing Missing Teeth.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 20, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease   nutrition  
EattheRightKindofCarbstoProtectYourselffromGumDisease

In the quest for the ideal diet, people often stress over one particular food group: carbohydrates. And for good reason—some carbohydrates have been linked to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in many diseases. One such condition in particular, periodontal (gum) disease, could permanently damage your dental health.

But before you throw all the carbs out of your diet, let’s take a closer look at them. Not all carbs are the same or contribute to inflammation to the same degree.

Carbohydrates are organic compounds existing in living tissues. In foods, the most prevalent of these are sugars and starches that break down during digestion into the simple sugar glucose, which the cells in an organism use for energy.

But not all carb-based foods digest at the same rate, measured along a scale called the glycemic index. High glycemic foods like sugar, baked goods or potatoes digest quickly and can rapidly increase the glucose levels in the blood (blood sugar). This sudden glucose spike then triggers an insulin surge from the pancreas to restore the level to normal. This process in turn can cause inflammation.

On the other end of the glycemic index are complex or unrefined carbohydrates that digest much more slowly, and don’t quickly elevate blood sugar like simple carbs. In fact, nutritional studies consistently show carbohydrates in most vegetables, greens, beans or whole grains may actually decrease inflammation.

Inflammation is also a primary factor in gum disease, caused by a bacterial infection in the gums. Chronic inflammation damages the gums’ attachment with the teeth and can contribute to eventual tooth loss. And if your body already has an overactive inflammatory response due to your diet, you could be even more susceptible to gum disease.

A change in your diet in relation to carbs could help reduce this risk. Eat less sugar, white flour, rice and potatoes and more complex carbs like fresh vegetables and fruits. For even more protection include foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (like certain fish and nuts) and less Omega 6 foods (fried food or pastries, or chips, for example). And don’t forget your antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Eating fewer simple carbs and more complex carbs will help reduce inflammation in the body. And that’s a good thing for your gums.

If you would like more information on how diet affects dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Carbohydrates Linked to Gum Disease.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Cosmetic Dentistry ProceduresCosmetic dentistry can do so much for your smile. There are several cosmetic dentistry procedures available for correcting or concealing cosmetic concerns and imperfections. For instance, chipped teeth can be fixed with bonding and discolorations can be concealed with veneers. Dr. Joel Johnson is your Columbia area dentist for achieving the smile you desire through cosmetic dentistry.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

Several different types of cosmetic dentistry procedures or treatments are available. Your Columbia dentist can recommend specific procedures for you based on the improvements you want to make. Some of the available cosmetic dentistry procedures and treatments include:

  • Bonding
  • Dental implants
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth-colored fillings

Bonding is used to repair teeth that are chipped or cracked. Bonding is performed using a resin material that is applied to areas of the teeth to be corrected or repaired.

Dental implants can restore your smile by filling in gaps and replacing missing teeth. Dental implants consist of a metal implant that acts as a root, securely holding the replacement tooth in place. The metal implant is placed below the gum line and is topped with a crown above the gum line. The crown serves as the replacement tooth.

Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin covers used to easily and dramatically improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, chipped, cracked, misshaped, or have other cosmetic concerns. The veneers are placed on the front of problem teeth to give them a new look. Veneers made from porcelain provide a natural look as the porcelain closely resembles the look of tooth enamel.

In-office teeth whitening treatments and take-home whitening kits are the fastest and most effective method for whitening the teeth. Both options contain professional quality whitening agents and deliver better whitening results than over-the-counter whitening products.

Tooth-colored dental fillings are a discreet way to fill in cavities, as well as strengthen and restore infected teeth. Tooth-colored fillings can be made from a variety of materials, such as porcelain or a composite material. Since the fillings are tooth-colored, they readily blend in so the fillings are not noticeable to others.

Cosmetic dentistry can give you the smile you have always wanted. To learn more about what cosmetic dentistry can do for your smile, schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson, your Columbia dentist, by calling the dental practice at (803) 788-2555.





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Columbia, SC Dentist
Joel E Johnson, DMD, PA
9 Office Park Ct.
Columbia, SC 29223
(803) 788-2555
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