Posts for: March, 2019

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
March 29, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
The3TopIngredientsThatMakeYourToothpasteaSuperPlaqueBuster

Human beings have known for millennia the importance of keeping teeth clean. Although we've only come to more fully understand dental plaque's role in dental disease in the last century, our ancestors seemed to know instinctively this gritty biofilm on teeth had to go.

People from the past once used a variety of substances like ground oyster shells or leftover fire ashes to remove plaque from their teeth. Today, most of the world has replaced these substances with toothpaste, a mainstay of daily oral hygiene.

So, why is toothpaste better than other substances used in the ancient past? Besides the many other ingredients found in the typical tube of toothpaste, here are the top 3 that make it the ultimate tooth cleaner.

Abrasives. While your toothbrush does most of the mechanical work loosening plaque, toothpaste has ingredients called abrasives that give an added boost to your brushing action. The ideal abrasive is strong enough to remove plaque, but not enough to damage tooth enamel. If you look at your toothpaste's ingredient list, you'll probably see an abrasive like hydrated silica (made from sand), hydrated alumina, calcium carbonate or dicalcium phosphates.

Detergents. Your toothpaste's foaming action is a sign of a detergent, which helps loosen and break down non-soluble (not dissolvable with plain water) food substances. While similar to what you may use to wash your clothes or dishes, toothpaste detergents are much milder, the most common being sodium lauryl sulfate found in many cosmetic items. If you have frequent canker sores, though, sodium lauryl sulfate can cause irritation, so look for a toothpaste with a different detergent.

Fluoride. The enamel strengthening power of fluoride was one of the greatest discoveries in dental care history. Although not all toothpastes contain it, choosing one with fluoride can improve your enamel health and help protect you from tooth decay.

These and other ingredients like binders, preservatives and flavorings, all go in to make toothpaste the teeth-cleaning, disease-fighting product we've all come to depend upon. Used as part of daily oral hygiene, toothpaste can help brighten and freshen your smile, and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

If you would like more information on using the right toothpaste, 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 “Toothpaste: What's in It?


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
March 26, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Veneers SmileHow porcelain veneers from your dentist in Columbia, SC, can give you a new smile

Does your smile need a little freshening up? Is your smile dull and uninteresting? Is your smile compromised by chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time for you to discover the magic of porcelain veneers. They are the go-to treatment to give you a beautiful, flawless smile. Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, SC, offers porcelain veneer treatment to give you a new smile.

Porcelain veneers are thin, beautiful laminates of sparkling porcelain. These laminates are permanently cemented on to the front surfaces of your teeth. Veneer treatment is conservative, because Dr. Johnson only removes enough tooth surface to compensate for thickness of the veneers.

Porcelain veneers are a versatile treatment that will freshen up your smile by covering up many cosmetic and aesthetic issues with your teeth, including:

  • Excessive tooth wear due to aging or grinding
  • Chips caused by everyday wear-and-tear
  • Cracks or fracture lines caused by trauma
  • Discolorations due to medications or genetics

Veneer treatment may also be able to hide alignment issues including gaps between your teeth, or tooth overlap and tooth rotation. Dr. Johnson will discuss whether veneers are the right choice, or if conventional orthodontics are the best treatment for alignment issues.

Porcelain veneer treatment is a popular choice to refresh smiles because porcelain looks just like natural tooth enamel. It reflects light, so your new porcelain veneers will sparkle just like natural tooth enamel. Unlike natural tooth enamel, porcelain resists stains, so your smile will stay bright for years, even if you drink coffee or smoke.

If you need to refresh your smile, porcelain veneers can help. They can hide both minor and major problems with your teeth, giving you a smile that makes a statement. To find out more about porcelain veneers and other cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dental services, call Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, SC, today!


FifthHarmonysCamilaCabelloChipsaToothbutConcertStillWorthIt

Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand.├é┬áRecently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.

Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.

A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.

Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.

If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.

If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
March 13, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Dental crowns are a porcelain dental restoration often used after a root canal but can perform various dental tasks. If your dentist suggestsCrown a crown, you probably have a damaged or decayed tooth. Understanding this treatment and how it works can help you determine if it is right for you. Find out more about dental crowns with Dr. Joel Johnson and his practice in Columbia, SC.

What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped piece of porcelain which fits over the tooth to “cap” it off. A dental laboratory creates and color-matches the dental crown by hand to seamlessly match your smile. Crowns serve many purposes in various situations:

  • Stabilizing a tooth with a large filling
  • Holding a dental bridge in place to replace a missing tooth
  • Covering a dental implant to replace a missing tooth
  • Protecting a damaged or broken tooth
  • Improving the appearance of a tooth with aesthetic issues, such as stains

How does the Process for a Dental Crown Work?
Dental crowns require two appointments with your Columbia, SC, dentist. One appointment to prepare your teeth to receive the crown, take a clay mold of your prepared tooth, and place a temporary crown on. The dental laboratory uses the clay mold to design your dental crown, a process that takes about two weeks. Another appointment to remove any temporary restorations and place your final crown on,

How do I Care for a Dental Crown?
Caring for your dental crown is as easy as caring for your natural teeth. The crown looks and functions just like a natural tooth and requires only that you follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation for a strong oral care routine. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush and floss at least once a day between every tooth. See Dr. Johnson for routine examinations and cleanings twice a year.

Dental Crowns in Columbia, SC
For more information on dental crowns, please contact Dr. Joel Johnson in Columbia, SC at (803) 788-2555 to schedule your appointment!


GetAheadofaDevelopingCross-BitewithThisEarlyInterventionMeasure

Applying braces or clear aligners to move misaligned teeth is only part of an orthodontist's overall mission to eliminate poor bites (malocclusions). Sometimes a malocclusion isn't caused by the teeth at all—the size of the jaw is the problem!

One type in particular, a cross-bite, often happens because the upper jaw has developed too narrowly. As a result, many of the upper teeth fit inside the lower, the opposite of normal. But a tool called a palatal expander can alleviate the problem if it's applied at an early enough age.

The device works because the upper jawbone initially forms as two halves that fit together along a center line in the roof of the mouth (the palate) running from the back of the mouth to the front. These two bone halves remain separate during childhood to facilitate jaw growth, but eventually fuse around puberty.

Consisting of two sets of wire arms joined together by a hinge mechanism in the middle, the expander device is positioned up against the palate. The orthodontist extends each arm to press against the inside of the back teeth, then adds more outward pressure by turning the mechanism in the middle with a small key. During wear, the patient or caregiver will turn the mechanism in the same way to keep up the pressure on the two sides of the jaw.

This continual pressure keeps the two bones moving away from each other and maintaining a center gap between them. In response, more bone forms on the two halves to fill the gap. In time, the newly formed bone should widen the jaw enough to correct any developing malocclusion.

Timing is everything with a palatal expander—if not used before the jaw bones fuse, the patient will need a surgical procedure to separate the bones to pursue treatment. To catch the problem early enough, children should have an orthodontic evaluation on or before they turn six. An orthodontist may be able to identify this or other emerging bite problems and intervene before it becomes worse. Taking this approach can help save you and your child more expensive orthodontic treatment down the road.

If you would like more information on correcting poor bites, 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 “Palatal Expanders: Orthodontics is more than just Moving Teeth.”




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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