Posts for: January, 2019

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
January 28, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
4WaystoCheckonYourBrushingandFlossingEffectiveness

For most of us, brushing and flossing is a routine part of daily life. But has it become such a routine that you may not be getting the most out of your daily regimen?

First, let's be clear about what you're trying to accomplish with these two important hygiene tasks, which is to remove as much accumulated dental plaque as possible. This thin film of bacteria and food particles is the primary cause for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

So how can you tell if you're effectively cleaning dental plaque from your teeth? Here are 4 ways to check your brushing and flossing skills.

The tongue test. Move your tongue across the surface of your teeth, especially at the gum line, immediately after brushing and flossing. "Plaque-free" teeth will feel smooth and slick. If you feel any grittiness, though, you may be missing some plaque.

Floss check. For a similar effect after your daily hygiene take a fresh piece of floss and run it up and down your teeth. If the teeth are clean and you are using un-waxed floss, the floss should "squeak" as you move it up and down.

Disclosing agents. You can also occasionally use a plaque disclosing agent. This product contains a solution you apply to your teeth after brushing and flossing that will dye any leftover plaque a specific color. Disclosing agents are handy for uncovering specific areas that require more of your future hygiene attention. ¬†And don't worry—the dye is temporary and will fade quickly.

Dental visits. For the ultimate test, visit your dentist at least twice a year. Not only can dental cleanings remove hard to reach plaque and calculus (hardened tartar), but your dentist or hygienist can evaluate how well you've been doing. Consider it your "final exam" for oral hygiene!

Be sure to also ask your dental provider for tips and training in better brushing and flossing. Becoming more effective at these critical tasks helps ensure you're keeping your teeth and gums free of disease.

If you would like more information on best oral hygiene practices, 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 “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health.”


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
January 24, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

When you think of cosmetics, do you think of your dentist? Well, you should if your dentist is Dr. Joel Johnson in Columbia. Expert in a wide array of services which improve smile appearance and self-image, Dr. Johnson can makeover your smile, giving you a look that's both realistic and highly functional.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

It's that branch of modern dentistry which improves smile aesthetics--that is:

  • Tooth shape, size, and color
  • Smile alignment
  • How much tooth structure and gum tissue shows when a person smiles
  • Repair of obvious defects such as hairline cracks and gaps

Many cosmetic services, such as professional teeth whitening, are budget-friendly, one-visit and simple to execute. Others, however, require modern diagnostic, imaging, and fabrication techniques such as Dr. Johnson's ED Digital fabrication processes for crowns, veneers and bridges. Whether used singly or in combination, aesthetic services from your dentist in Columbia render youthful, bright smiles which really last.
Types of cosmetic dental services
 
Dr. Johnson confers with his prospective cosmetic dentistry patients before beginning any treatments. He performs a complete examination and takes digital X-rays to ensure your treatment plan is built on a foundation of good oral health.
Also, you and your dentist will discuss the improvements you wish to achieve. Are ragged tooth edges detracting from your healthy smile? What about tooth color? Are tobacco stains so stubborn you think nothing can ever whiten them? Is your smile crooked, gapped, or crowded? These are the details you and Dr. Johnson will address to arrive at solutions that are practical, transforming and affordable.
Available cosmetic services
 
Your cosmetic dentistry plan will be tailored to include some of the following treatments as you and your dentist determine best. Dr. Johnson offers:

  • Composite resin bonding, an efficient, one-visit repair of chips, cracks, gaps, and other small flaws using a durable and lifelike blend of acrylic and glass
  • Porcelain veneers, or dental laminates, shells of ultra-thin ceramic which camouflage larger defects such as deep stains, mild crookedness, and misshapen tooth structure
  • Porcelain crowns, durable and beautiful jackets of fine porcelain which support and beautify damaged teeth
  • Professional teeth whitening, an in-office or at-home service which applies powerful peroxide gel, lifting deep dental stains from tooth enamel
  • ClearCorrect invisible aligners, a faster, more discreet way to correct moderate orthodontic problems without the intricacies and inconveniences of traditional braces

A smile made just for you
Get it from cosmetic dentistry expert, Dr. Joel Johnson. Learn more during a one-on-one consultation with this caring and skilled dentist. Call the office for an appointment in Columbia, SC, (803) 788-2555. If you're a new patient, ask about free bleaching with your initial cleaning and examination.


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
January 18, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: pulp capping  
Less-InvasivePulpCappingCouldSaveYourTooth

There’s one sure thing about tooth decay: you can’t ignore it. In fact, the best outcomes result from finding it early and treating it before it enters the pulp in the center of the tooth, often a filling or similar treatment.

If it does advance to the pulp, you may need a root canal treatment to save the tooth. This is a moderately invasive procedure where we access the pulp and root canals, tiny passageways leading to the root and supporting bone. We then remove all the diseased tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling. Later we’ll crown the tooth for added protection against future infection or fracture of the tooth.

But there’s also another less-invasive method than a root canal called pulp capping. It’s only appropriate to use, however, if the pulp has become exposed or almost exposed by decay, but hasn’t yet shown signs of disease.

Pulp capping can be either direct or indirect. We use direct pulp capping if the healthy pulp has been exposed by the disease process. We first isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth to prevent contamination and then proceed to remove all of the tooth’s decayed dentin structure. We then apply a biocompatible material directly over the pulp to protect it from further decay and to facilitate healing. We then restore the tooth, usually with a filling, to its proper function and life-like appearance.

When the pulp is threatened by decay but not yet exposed, we may then use the indirect method. In this approach we first remove most of the decayed dentin, but leave a small amount next to the pulp to keep it covered. We then treat this remaining dentin with a material to help it heal and re-mineralize, followed by a temporary filling of the tooth. A few months later we’ll remove this filling and inspect the treated dentin. If it has regenerated sufficiently, we remove any remaining decay and permanently restore the tooth.

As we said, pulp capping is only used with patients with deep decay whose pulp tissue is healthy. But when we can use it we can avoid some of the permanent alterations that often come with a root canal treatment and still save the tooth.

If you would like more information on treatments for tooth decay, 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 “Pulp Capping: A Procedure that May Save a Decayed Tooth.”


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
January 08, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Porcelain Veneers  
GetRidofThoseUnattractiveTeethwithPorcelainVeneers

Those unattractive teeth you see in the mirror are what are standing between you and a truly beautiful smile. If only you could make them go away.

In a way, you can do just that—with dental veneers. For the past three decades dentists have been covering the imperfections of problem teeth with these thin layers of porcelain. What's more, they're usually less involved and expensive than other restorations.

Veneers work best on teeth with moderate flaws like chipping, heavy staining or wearing, or slight misalignments like crookedness or gaps. The dental porcelain used is a ceramic material that so closely mimics the color and translucence of natural teeth it often takes a trained eye to notice any difference.

The first step to getting veneers is to plan your new look with a full examination and a diagnostic mock-up, a temporary application of tooth-colored filling materials applied directly to the teeth. This gives you and your dentist a better visual idea of how veneers will look on your teeth, and to make any adjustments ahead of time. A dental lab will use these findings to create your custom veneers.

In the meantime we'll prepare your teeth to accommodate your veneers. Although they're usually only 0.3 to 0.7 millimeters thick, veneers can still appear bulky when placed straight on the teeth. To adjust for their width we usually must remove some of the teeth's surface enamel so the veneers look more natural. Because enamel can't be replaced, the removal permanently alters the teeth and will require some form of restoration from then on.

When the veneers are ready we'll attach them with special cement so they'll form an almost seamless bond with the teeth. You'll then be able to use them just as before—but with a little caution. Although quite durable, veneers can break under too much force, so avoid biting on hard objects like ice, hard candy or nuts. And be sure you practice good dental care on your veneered teeth with daily brushing and regular dental cleanings and checkups.

The end result, though, is well worth the upkeep. Porcelain veneers can rejuvenate your smile and provide you a new level of confidence for years to come.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: Your Smile—Better than Ever.”




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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