Posts for category: Dental Procedures

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.

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
April 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
CrazyLittleThingCalledHyperdontia

The movie Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates the iconic rock band Queen and its legendary lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury. But when we see pictures of the flamboyant singer, many fans both old and new may wonder—what made Freddie’s toothy smile look the way it did? Here’s the answer: The singer was born with four extra teeth at the back of his mouth, which caused his front teeth to be pushed forward, giving him a noticeable overbite.

The presence of extra teeth—more than 20 primary (baby) teeth or 32 adult teeth—is a relatively rare condition called hyperdontia. Sometimes this condition causes no trouble, and an extra tooth (or two) isn’t even recognized until the person has an oral examination. In other situations, hyperdontia can create problems in the mouth such as crowding, malocclusion (bad bite) and periodontal disease. That’s when treatment may be recommended.

Exactly what kind of treatment is needed? There’s a different answer for each individual, but in many cases the problem can be successfully resolved with tooth extraction (removal) and orthodontic treatment (such as braces).¬†Some people may be concerned about having teeth removed, whether it’s for this problem or another issue. But in skilled hands, this procedure is routine and relatively painless.

Teeth aren’t set rigidly in the jawbone like posts in cement—they are actually held in place dynamically by a fibrous membrane called the periodontal ligament. With careful manipulation of the tooth, these fibers can be dislodged and the tooth can be easily extracted. Of course, you won’t feel this happening because extraction is done under anesthesia (often via a numbing shot). In addition, you may be given a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help you relax during the procedure.

After extraction, some bone grafting material may be placed in the tooth socket and gauze may be applied to control bleeding; sutures (stitches) are sometimes used as well. You’ll receive instructions on medication and post-extraction care before you go home. While you will probably feel discomfort in the area right after the procedure, in a week or so the healing process will be well underway.

Sometimes, dental problems like hyperdontia need immediate treatment because they can negatively affect your overall health; at other times, the issue may be mainly cosmetic. Freddie Mercury declined treatment because he was afraid dental work might interfere with his vocal range. But the decision to change the way your smile looks is up to you; after an examination, we can help you determine what treatment options are appropriate for your own situation.

If you have questions about tooth extraction or orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Simple Tooth Extraction” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
April 08, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: bonded retainer  
ABondedRetainerMightbeaBetterChoiceAfterBraces

The braces are finally off! But to keep your new, straighter smile you'll need to wear a retainer for some time. That's because the same structural mechanism used to move your teeth could undo what we've just accomplished.

That mechanism resides in an elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament that lies between the teeth and the bone and attaches to both with tiny fibers. While the ligament holds the teeth securely in place, it also allows for slight movement in response to bite changes. Braces "pull" the teeth in the desired new direction, and the ligament responds.

But with that pressure gone after the braces' removal, a kind of "muscle memory" can set in that moves the teeth back towards their original positions. A retainer, a dental appliance worn on the teeth, exerts just enough pressure to "retain" or keep the teeth from regressing.

Retainers are effective, but the most common type has a feature that poses potential problems: it can be removed by the wearer. Because of this, less disciplined patients might be tempted not to wear their retainer as directed. There's also a higher risk of losing one and incurring additional cost to replace it.

But there is another type, the bonded retainer, which stays permanently in the mouth until removed by an orthodontist. It's composed of a thin piece of metal that's firmly attached to the back of the teeth with dental composite material. Not only does a bonded retainer solve the problems mentioned before, it also can't be seen from the outside like a removable retainer.

A bonded retainer does have one disadvantage: because it can't be removed, it can obstruct the teeth during brushing and flossing and require more effort. You won't have as much difficulty with a removable retainer keeping teeth and gums clean. You can overcome this disadvantage, though, with specialized tools like a water flosser or a floss threader to make hygiene easier.

To choose which type of retainer is best for you or your family member, have a talk with your orthodontist. And if you choose a bonded retainer and later have it removed, be sure to switch immediately to a removable one if your orthodontist advises. With either retainer, you'll be able to preserve that hard-earned smile for years to come.

If you would like more information on bonded retainers, 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 “Bonded Retainers: What are the Pros and Cons.”



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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