By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
June 17, 2019
Category: Oral Health
BeontheAlertforWhiteSpotsonTeethWhileWearingBraces

While wearing braces is the path to a healthier and more attractive smile, it can be a difficult journey. One of your biggest challenges will be keeping your teeth clean to avoid a higher risk of tooth decay.

Tooth decay starts with dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on teeth. Daily brushing and flossing clear this accumulation. But the hardware of braces makes it difficult to access all tooth surfaces, and can even become a haven for plaque.

One sign in particular of tooth decay while wearing braces is the appearance of chalk-like spots on the teeth known as white spot lesions (WSLs). WSLs occur because the minerals in the enamel beneath them have begun to break down in response to decay. The spots can eventually cause both structural and cosmetic problems for a tooth.

The best approach to WSLs is to prevent them from developing in the first place. You'll need to be extra vigilant with daily oral hygiene while wearing braces to reduce plaque buildup. To help with the increased difficulty you might consider using a special toothbrush designed to maneuver more closely around orthodontic hardware. You may also find using a water flosser to be a lot easier than flossing thread.

Preventing tooth decay and WSLs also includes what you eat or drink to reduce the effects of enamel de-mineralization. The bacteria that cause decay thrive on sugar, so limit your intake of sweetened foods and beverages. And to avoid excessive demineralization cut back on acidic foods as well.

If despite your best preventive efforts WSLs still form, we can take steps to minimize any damage. For one, we can give your enamel a boost with fluoride applications or other remineralization substances. We can also inject a tooth-colored resin beneath the surface of a WSL that will make it less noticeable.

With any of these and other treatments, though, the sooner we can treat the WSL the better the outcome. Practicing good hygiene and dietary habits, as well as keeping an eye out for any WSL formations, will do the most to protect your new and improved smile.

If you would like more information on preventing dental disease while wearing braces, 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 “White Spots on Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
June 07, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

It is easy to improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry. Whether you need to repair a chipped tooth or want a whiter smile, there is a Cosmetic Smilecosmetic dentistry procedure available for helping you achieve the smile you desire. A dentist can recommend specific procedures based on the concerns you wish to address. Dr. Joel Johnson is your dentist in Columbia, SC, for cosmetic dentistry.

Bonding

Bonding is a cosmetic procedure for repaired chipped or cracked teeth. A resin material is applied to areas where there is a chip or crack. As the resin dries, it permanently bonds with the tooth. Once completely dry, the repaired area will blend in with the natural tooth so others will not be able to tell a repair was done.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are sometimes also called white fillings and are a discreet alternative to other types of fillings that are readily noticeable in the mouth, such as silver amalgam dental fillings. Tooth-colored fillings can be made from a variety of materials, including composite resin, porcelain, or glass ionomer. Whichever option is chosen, the fillings will blend in with the surrounding teeth and be unnoticeable to others.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a great option for concealing certain types of imperfections, such as stains, discolorations, or oddly-shaped teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin covers placed against the front surface of problem teeth to give them a flawless new look. Porcelain is a close match for tooth enamel, which gives veneers a completely natural look. Dr. Johnson, your Columbia, SC, dentist can help you decide if porcelain veneers are right for you.

Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening treatments are an extremely effective way to refresh your smile. In-office teeth whitening treatments produce the fastest results. Patients can enjoy teeth that are up to eight shades whiter after just one in-office treatment session. Take-home whitening is a convenient alternative that also delivers professional results in just a few weeks. Take-home whitening is as simple as adding a professional whitening gel to custom trays and wearing the trays for about an hour each time or as instructed by your dentist.

There are several ways cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile. Your Columbia, SC, dentist can help you select the right combination of cosmetic dentistry procedures to achieve the smile you desire. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson, call the dental office at (803) 788-2555.

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
June 07, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
BaseballsFranciscoLindorShinesasMrSmile

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
May 30, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

How an extraction from your dentist in Columbia, SC, can help your smile

Sometimes, a severely decayed or badly damaged tooth can cause your entire smile to rot. In these cases of extreme decay, root canals often become unable to save a problematic tooth, thus creating a situation where a tooth extraction can actually help your oral health! Read on to learn how Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, South Carolina, can use this treatment to save your smile.

What tooth extractions can do for you

While tooth extraction is generally a last resort operation, this treatment can sometimes prove necessary to save your smile and relieve enormous dental pain. So, how do you know if you need a tooth removed? Well, you may need a tooth extracted if you have a tooth that...

  • Has lost a substantial amount of bone support due to periodontal disease and has now become loose
  • Has lost too much tooth structure to be repaired with either a filling or a crown
  • Is causing severe pain even after treatment with a filling or a root canal

These are just a few examples of when an unhealthy tooth should be extracted, but there are also many instances of healthy teeth that may need to be removed, as well. You may need healthy teeth removed if:

  • You are going to have orthodontic treatment: Some orthodontic patients do not have sufficient mouth room to treat all of their teeth. Removing some teeth can make orthodontic treatment easier and quicker, giving you better results.
  • You have wisdom teeth: Quite often, people don’t have enough room in their mouth for the onset of wisdom teeth. By removing this third set of molars, patients can avoid a number of potential issues caused by improper tooth eruption including infection, pain, and cyst formation.

 

Give us a call!

Your dentist can help you decide if tooth extraction is the best option to help your smile. For more information about tooth removal, call Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, SC, today at (803) 788-2555!

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
May 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Veneers  

Restoring a dull, damaged smile can be as easy as adding dental veneers to your teeth. The versatile restorations are offered by your Columbia, SC, dentist, Dr. Joel Johnson.

How can dental veneers help my smile?

Veneers are designed to hide a variety of problems that affect the fronts of your teeth. Unlike crowns, dental veneers only require minimal changes to your teeth. Before you receive your veneers, your Columbia dentist will remove a very thin layer of tooth enamel. This step ensures that a comfortable, natural-looking fit for your restorations.

Your dentist will also make an impression of your teeth, which will guide the dental laboratory technicians who create your porcelain veneers. Once your permanent restorations are ready, they'll be attached to your teeth with dental cement.

Dental veneers can completely change the appearance of your teeth. They're often used to make crooked, twisted or oddly shaped teeth look just like your other teeth.

Is your smile uneven due to a few short teeth? Shorter-than-normal teeth can occur naturally or may gradually become a problem if you grind or clench your teeth at night. Luckily, your dentist can add a few veneers in a shade that matches your other teeth exactly.

Veneers can also:

  • Keep Imperfections Out of View: Whether you're concerned about a crack, chip, uneven surface or other flaw, veneers offer an easy way to conceal flaws. They can also hide discolorations caused by large fillings or the antibiotic tetracycline.
  • Close Gaps: Would you like to eliminate gaps between your teeth? Veneers can be used to close slight spaces, while orthodontic treatment may be a better option for large gaps.
  • Whiten Your Teeth: Teeth whitening can remove stains caused by coffee, tea, cola or brightly colored foods, but those stains will quickly return if you continue to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea. Dental veneers offer a better option if you don't want to give up your favorite foods and beverages. They're very stain resistant and available in many shades of white.

Revitalize your smile with dental veneers! Call your Columbia, SC, dentist, Dr. Joel Johnston at (803) 788-2555 to schedule your appointment.





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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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