Posts for: December, 2018

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
December 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   Veneers  
VivicasVeneerstheMakingofaHollywoodSmile

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
December 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers   cosmetic dentistry  

VeneersDo you need veneers from your Columbia, SC, dentist, Dr. Joel E Johnson?

Veneers are wafer-thin coverings that are placed on the teeth's surface to act as strong substitutes for tooth enamel. Veneers create a natural-looking surface when bonded to the surface of your teeth. Veneers, like natural tooth enamel, are tough and translucent, however, they do not stain like natural teeth.

Versatility of Porcelain Veneers

Veneers beautify your smile by providing good tooth color, shape, and proper alignment. Veneers can improve any of the following characteristics:

  • Color: Teeth become stained by foods and drinks, smoking, chewing tobacco and aging.

  • Size & Shape: Teeth become worn down from teeth grinding habits and naturally irregular-shaped teeth.

  • Alignment & Spacing: Veneers can close small gaps between teeth and/or make minor adjustments to correct tooth alignment.

Limitations of Veneers

Veneers aren't always the answer. You may need orthodontics because veneers can't be used to:

  • Correct severely misaligned teeth
  • Close large dental gaps
  • Extreme tooth decay and decay
  • Severe trauma due to an accident or tooth grinding

Steps to Creating a New Smile with Porcelain Veneers

  • First, visit Dr. Joel Johnson's Columbia, SC, office to discuss what you don't like about your teeth discuss and whether veneers can solve the issue
  • Once you and your doctor have agreed upon a plan, your dentist will remove small amounts of enamel off the surfaces of your teeth
  • Next, your dentist will create a mold of your teeth and send it to a laboratory to create veneers
  • You'll then receive a temporary set of veneers while your permanent set is being manufactured
  • Finally, your permanent veneers are cemented onto your teeth.

If you are interested in a new smile with veneers, call your Columbia, SC, dentist's office today to learn more at (803) 788-2555! With dental veneers, you can rejuvenate your smile and get to living your best life!


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
December 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: x-ray  
BitewingX-RaysSafelyRevealallAboutBackTeethtoPreventToothDecay

Modern dental care wouldn’t be the same without x-rays. Since dentists began capturing x-ray images a century ago to detect beginning tooth decay, billions of teeth have been preserved.

“Catching it early” is the key to staying ahead of this aggressive bacterial infection. Once it breaks through the protective defenses of tooth enamel, it can advance toward the center of the tooth, the pulp, damaging dentin as it goes. While we can effectively stop it at this point with a root canal treatment, it’s better for the tooth’s long-term health to detect and treat any decay early on with a less-invasive filling or other treatment method.

X-ray imaging helps make that possible, revealing decay much easier than we can see with the unaided eye. And while we can often detect decay in front teeth by visual examination or by using very bright lighting, that’s not as easy with the less accessible back teeth. For those teeth we use a special x-ray technique known as the bitewing.

The name comes from the small frame used to hold the film. It’s held in place in the mouth by the patient biting down on small tabs or “wings” extending from the frame. The x-ray beam travels through the outer cheek and teeth to the film being held in the frame on the back side of the teeth. When exposed, we’ll be able to view the interior of these back teeth: a set of four bitewings gives us a full view of all the upper and lower molars and pre-molars on each side of the jaws.

Like other forms of radiation energy, too much or too frequent exposures to x-rays can lead to serious health problems. But bitewing x-rays carry little risk to health. That’s because they fit well with the ALARA principle, meaning “As Low As Reasonably Achievable,” which helps guide our use of x-rays. Patients receive a fraction of the radiation exposure from routine bitewing x-rays than they receive annually from the natural environment.

Without bitewing x-rays and other diagnostic methods, the chances are high that tooth decay or other dental problems can go undetected in their early stages. Using this important tool can help us head off major damage before it occurs.

If you would like more information on the role of x-rays in dental care, 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 “Bitewing X-Rays: A Routine Part of Your Dental Exam.”


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

Dental CrownFor your best personal appearance, self-confidence, and oral health, a complete smile serves you best. That means no failing teeth, gum disease, or smile gaps. If you're concerned about missing teeth or about a tooth or two that are weak or symptomatic, consult your dentist in Columbia, SC, Dr. Joel Johnson. He offers durable and lifelike porcelain crowns as well as crown-supported bridgework so that your smile is absolutely perfect.

What is a dental crown?

Made of realistic, superior-grade ceramic, a dental crown replaces damaged, discolored, or misshapen tooth enamel above the gum line. Crowns support bridges, which are prosthetic appliances composed of one or more artificial teeth in a row. Your dentist in Columbia also uses crowns to restore dental implants and to finish root canal treatments. Crowns return life and function to a deficient smile, and they last a decade or more with good at-home and in-office care.

Should you consider a crown?

If Dr. Johnson recommends that you receive crowns, you definitely should heavily consider having the treatments. From examination, X-rays, and oral impressions, the entire crown process happens at Dr. Johnson's office. Additionally, in most cases, the entire treatment happens in just one visit.

Dr. Johnson carefully crafts crowns digitally using a computer-aided design and manufacturing processes. That's why you can have your restorations in just one day.

Here are the benefits of crowns:

  1. Crowns replace substantial amounts of damaged enamel. Tooth decay, oral injury, infection, and congenital malformation are just some of the reasons why a tooth would require a crown.
  2. Weak, cracked, or decayed teeth do not improve by themselves. The problems only worsen over time, progressing to infection and eventual tooth loss. Crowns halt the damage and support the healthy portions of your tooth.
  3. A crown allows you to keep your natural tooth and its root system. While extraction of a failing tooth may seem preferable because of its lower cost, tooth loss translates to weaker bone, less gum tissue, poor oral function, and a noticeable smile gap.
  4. Crowns are beautiful, realistic in shape, size, and color and last for many years. Furthermore, when they do wear out, they can be replaced.

Caring for crowns

Maintaining your crown is just as important as maintaining your natural teeth and gums. Dr. Johnson recommends the standard American Dental Association guidelines: floss daily and brush twice a day. Also, if you grind your teeth, consider wearing a custom-fabricated night guard to protect your crown and natural teeth from premature wear and other health issues that bruxism causes.

Time for a consultation?

You want a great looking and functioning smile for life. So, contact the office team at Dr. Joel Johnson's Columbia office to schedule your personal crown consultation. Get the facts so that you can make a good decision for your oral health. Phone (803) 788-2555.


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
December 09, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   Flossing  
DontgiveuponFlossing

A couple of years ago the Associated Press published an article claiming the health benefits of flossing remained unproven. The article cited a number of studies that seemed to conclude the evidence for the effectiveness of flossing in helping to prevent dental disease as “weak.”

As you can imagine, dental providers were a bit chagrined while flossers everywhere threw away their dental floss and happily declared their independence from their least favorite hygiene task. It would have seemed the Age of Flossing had gone the way of the dinosaurs.

But, the demise of flossing may have been greatly exaggerated. A new study from the University of North Carolina seems to contradict the findings cited in the AP article. This more recent study looked at dental patients in two groups—those who flossed and those who didn’t—during two periods of five and ten years respectively. The new study found conclusively that the flosser group on average had a lower risk of tooth loss than the non-flossers.

While this is an important finding, it may not completely put the issue to rest. But assuming it does, let’s get to the real issue with flossing: a lot of people don’t like it, for various reasons. It can be time-consuming; it can be messy; and, depending on a person’s physical dexterity, difficult to perform.

On the latter, there are some things you can do to make it a less difficult task. You can use a floss threader, a device that makes it easier to thread the floss through the teeth. You can also switch to an oral irrigator or “water flosser,” a pump device that sprays a fine, pressurized stream of water to break up plaque between teeth and flush most of it away. We can also give you tips and training for flossing with just your fingers and thread.

But whatever you do, don’t give up the habit. It may not be your most favorite hygiene task but most dentists agree it can help keep your teeth healthy for the long-term.

If you would like more information on the benefits of flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.




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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