Posts for: October, 2018

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

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  

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.

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Multi-platinum recording artist Janet Jackson has long been known for her dazzling smile. And yet, Jackson admitted to InStyle Magazine that her trademark smile was once a major source of insecurity. The entertainer said, “To me, I looked like the Joker!” It was only after age 30 that the pop icon came to accept her unique look.

Jackson is not alone. A study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists found that more than one third of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with their smile. But there’s good news—modern dentistry can correct many flaws that can keep you from loving your smile, whether you’re unhappy with the color, size, or shape of your teeth. Here are some popular treatments:

Professional teeth whitening: Sometimes a professional teeth whitening will give you the boost you need. In-office whitening can dramatically brighten your smile in just one visit.

Tooth-colored fillings: If you have silver-colored fillings on teeth that show when you smile, consider replacing them with unnoticeable tooth-colored fillings.

Dental bonding: If you have chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth, cosmetic bonding may be the fix you’re looking for. In this procedure, tooth colored material is applied to the tooth’s surface, sculpted into the desired shape, hardened with a special light, and polished for a smooth finish.

Porcelain veneers: Dental veneers provide a natural-looking, long-lasting solution to many dental problems. These very thin shells fit over your teeth, essentially replacing your tooth enamel to give you the smile you desire.

Replacement teeth: Is a missing tooth affecting your self-confidence? There are several options for replacing missing teeth, from a removable partial denture to a traditional fixed bridge to a state-of-the-art implant-supported replacement tooth. Removable partial dentures are an inexpensive way to replace one or more missing teeth, but they are less stable than non-removable options. Dental bridges, as the name implies, span the gap where a tooth is missing by attaching an artificial tooth to the teeth on either side of the space. In this procedure, the teeth on both sides of the gap must be filed down in order to support the bridgework. Dental implants, considered the gold standard in tooth replacement technology, anchor long-lasting, lifelike replacements that function like natural teeth.

After coming to embrace her smile, Jackson asserted, “Beautiful comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors." If you don’t feel that your smile expresses the beauty you have inside, call our office to schedule a consultation. It’s possible to love your smile. We can help.

For more information, read Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
October 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

VeneersIf you feel as though your teeth are lacking in terms of aesthetics, you are not alone. According to a study by the American Association of Orthodontists, about one-third of American adults are dissatisfied with the appearance of their teeth. Luckily, dental veneers can totally overhaul your smile, improve the aesthetics of your smile, and even help boost your confidence and self-esteem to higher levels. Find out more about veneers with Dr. Joel Johnson in Columbia, SC.

What is a dental veneer? 
A dental veneer affixes to the surface of a tooth to restore or change its appearance. Veneers are a super-thin shell of porcelain which a dental laboratory creates especially for your mouth and color-matches to your existing natural teeth. This process creates a seamless appearance between the natural teeth and veneers.

Can dental veneers help my smile? 
Dental veneers can help dental patients in a variety of situations. Some of the most common reasons people consider dental veneers include:

  • uneven teeth
  • discolored teeth
  • slightly misaligned teeth
  • slightly gapped teeth
  • chipped teeth
  • fractured teeth

What can I expect from the veneer process? 
Veneers require several appointments with your dentist to complete the full veneer process. First, you will consult with your dentist to go over your expectations and what you would like to accomplish with your treatment. Your dentist will prepare your teeth, a procedure involving removing a thin portion of the tooth’s enamel to make room for your new veneer. At this point, your dentist will take a clay impression of your mouth for the dental laboratory to use in the design and creation of your veneers. At a later appointment, usually about two weeks later, your dentist will remove any temporary restorations on your teeth to replace them with their final counterparts.

Dental Veneers in Columbia, SC
If you think dental veneers could benefit your smile, a consultation with your dentist will ensure that this is the best cosmetic dentistry procedure for you. For more information on dental veneers, please contact Dr. Joel Johnson in Columbia, SC. Call (803) 788-2555 to schedule your consultation for dental veneers with Dr. Johnson today!

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