Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
July 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
ViggoMortensensRed-CarpetSmile

The Golden Globes ceremony is a night when Hollywood stars shine their brightest. At the recent red-carpet event, leading man Viggo Mortensen had plenty to smile about: Green Book, the movie in which he co-starred, picked up the award for Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. But fans looking at the veteran actor's big smile today might not realize that it once looked very different. A few years ago, an accident during the filming of The Two Towers took a major chip out of Mortensen's front tooth!

That might be OK for some movies (think The Hangover or Dumb and Dumber)—but it's not so great for everyday life. Fortunately, Mortensen visited a dentist promptly, and now his smile is picture-perfect. How was that accomplished? He didn't say…but generally, the best treatment for a chipped tooth depends on how much of the tooth's structure is missing.

If the tooth has only a small chip or crack, it's often possible to restore it via cosmetic bonding. This procedure can be done right in the dental office, frequently in a single visit. Here's how it works: First the tooth is cleaned and prepared, and then a tooth-colored resin is applied to the area being restored. After it is cured (hardened) with a special light, additional layers may be applied to build up the missing structure. When properly cared for, a tooth restored this way can look good for several years.

For a longer-lasting restoration, veneers may be recommended. These are wafer-thin shells made of durable material (most often porcelain) that cover the front (visible) surfaces of teeth. Strong and lifelike, veneers can match the exact color of your natural teeth—or give you the bright, high-wattage smile you've always wanted. No wonder they're so popular in Hollywood! Because veneers are custom-made for you, getting them may require several office visits.

If a chip or crack extends to the inner pulp of the tooth, a root canal procedure will be needed to keep the tooth from becoming infected—a situation that could have serious consequences. But you shouldn't fear a root canal! The procedure generally causes no more discomfort than filling a cavity (though it takes a little longer), and it can help save teeth that would otherwise be lost. After a root canal, a crown (cap) is generally needed to restore the visible part of the tooth.

When a damaged tooth can't be restored, it needs to be extracted (removed) and replaced. Today's best option for tooth replacement is a dental implant—a small, screw-shaped post inserted into the bone of your jaw that anchors a lifelike, fully functional crown. Implants require very little special care and can look great for many years, making them a top choice for tooth replacement

If you have questions about chipped or damaged teeth, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
July 07, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cleft lip   cleft palate   oral surgery  
ACleftBirthDefectCanBeHeartbreaking-butThereIsHope

Every year, thousands of children are born with a cleft palate, cleft lip or a combination of both. The advocacy group AmeriFace promotes the month of July as National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month to call attention to this potentially disfiguring defect—and to highlight treatments offered by dentists that can change the destiny of a child with a cleft defect.

Simply put, a cleft is a gap or opening in the palate (roof of the mouth) and/or upper lip. Cleft lips and palates result when structures that are forming in an unborn baby’s mouth and face don’t fuse together as they should during pregnancy. They can occur on either one side or on both sides of the face, in partial form (with some connecting tissue present) or completely open.

Clefts can cause severe disfigurement in a child, which may lead to a diminished self-image and disruption in relationships with others. A cleft can also compromise other aspects of a child’s health and life, including dental health, nutrition, respiratory function and speech development.

Doctors don’t always know why a particular baby is born with a cleft lip or palate, but clefts are thought to result from a combination of factors. Genetics most certainly plays a role, but there appear to be other influencing factors during pregnancy like nutritional deficiencies and fetal exposure to alcohol, radiation or toxic chemicals. In addition, having poorly controlled diabetes or being obese during pregnancy may increase the risk of the baby being born with cleft lip or cleft palate.

Managing known health conditions as well as striving for better prenatal nutrition and protection from environmental hazards may reduce the risks for cleft formation, even so, clefts do form. When they do, we can often effectively correct them, thanks to surgical procedures first developed by a military surgeon stationed in Korea in 1950.

While analyzing photos of cleft patients, Dr. Ralph Millard realized the tissue needed to repair a cleft was already present, but in a distorted form. He then experimented with surgical techniques that released the tissue so that it could be moved and fashioned into a normal appearance.

Dr. Millard’s original techniques remain the basis for today’s advanced procedures. Correction of a cleft lip or palate typically requires a series of procedures which can span the child’s developmental years. The first surgery usually occurs around 3-6 months of age, followed by later procedures to refine the earlier work. This process usually requires a team of dental specialists that includes oral surgeons, orthodontists and general dentists.

The road to restoration from a cleft birth defect can be a long one for children and their families, but the treatment methods developed over the last several decades can truly give them the gift of a normal life.

If you would like more information about cleft repair and other oral surgical procedures, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate: Common Birth Defects That Can Be Repaired Beautifully by Skilled Surgeons.”

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
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.



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

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