Posts for: June, 2019

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
June 27, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Teeth WhiteningIs your smile as white and beautiful as it could be? If you are disappointed in your smile because of yellowing or staining, it’s time to discover the benefits of teeth whitening. Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, SC, offers a complete line-up of dental services including professional teeth whitening to enhance your smile!

Causes of dull teeth

There are many reasons why you may have a darker smile. Tobacco use, coffee and tea consumption, and eating darkly pigmented foods like blueberries are just a few of the reasons why your smile may have lost its brightness.

One of the main causes of a yellowing smile is normal aging. As you age, your tooth enamel becomes thinner, allowing you to see the layer of dentin that lies underneath. This dentin layer is yellow, so its exposure will give your smile a dull look as you age.

More about teeth whitening

These are just a few of the benefits you will enjoy with professional teeth whitening:

  • A brighter, whiter smile, because you can whiten your smile up to 8 shades whiter
  • Long-lasting results, because the effects of professional teeth whitening can last up to 5 years
  • Safe treatment, because professional teeth whitening products have been rigorously tested and approved by the American Dental Association

In addition to these benefits, in-office professional teeth whitening treatment is also quick—only taking about an hour! The in-office treatment is the perfect choice if you want a whiter smile in a hurry, or if you have a special event coming up.

There is also a take-home whitening kit that contains everything you need to whiten your smile safely and effectively at your own convenience.

To view amazing before-and-after photos of Dr. Johnson’s patients, please visit the Smile Gallery page on the website at http://www.drjoeljohnson.com/gallery.html

Interested? Give us a call!

Professional teeth whitening can give you a great smile easily and quickly. To find out more about teeth whitening and other cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dental services, call Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, SC, today at (803) 788-2555.


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
June 27, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
ThisRareTongueConditionOftenLooksWorsethanitActuallyis

There are a few mouth conditions so rare most of us have never heard of them. Geographic tongue would fall into this category, affecting only one to three percent of the population. Even so, these irregular reddish patches resembling land masses on a map (hence the name) might be alarming at first glance—but they pose no danger and usually cause very little discomfort.

Geographic tongue is also known as benign migratory glossitis. As its clinical name implies, the unusual red patchy areas (often surrounded by a grayish white border) aren't cancerous nor contagious. The patches also appear to change shape and move around ("migrate") the tongue.

The reddish appearance comes from the temporary disappearance of tiny bumps on the tongue surface called papillae, which can leave the tongue smooth to the touch in affected areas. The lost papillae may reappear again a few hours or days later, and may occasionally disappear again. While it's not painful, you can experience a stinging or burning sensation emitting from these patchy areas.

We're not sure how and why geographic tongue erupts, but it's believed high emotional or psychological stress, hormonal imbalance or certain vitamin deficiencies might be factors in its cause. There may also be a link between it and psoriasis, a condition that can cause dry, itchy patches on the skin.

If you're one of the rare individuals who has episodes of geographic tongue, the good news is it's harmless, only mildly uncomfortable and usually temporary. The bad news, though, is that there's no known cure for the condition—but it can be managed to ease discomfort during outbreaks.

It's been found that highly acidic and spicy foods, as well as astringents like alcohol or some mouthrinses, can increase the level of discomfort. By avoiding these or similar foods or substances, you can reduce the irritation. Your dentist may also be able to help by prescribing anesthetic mouthrinses, antihistamines or steroid ointments.

For the most part, you'll simply have to wait it out. Other than the mild, physical discomfort, the worst part is often simply the appearance of the tongue. But by watching your diet and other habits, and with a little help from us, you can cope with these irritations when it occurs.

If you would like more information on geographic tongue and similar oral issues, 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 “Geographic Tongue: No Cause for Alarm.”


By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
June 17, 2019
Category: Oral Health
BeontheAlertforWhiteSpotsonTeethWhileWearingBraces

While wearing braces is the path to a healthier and more attractive smile, it can be a difficult journey. One of your biggest challenges will be keeping your teeth clean to avoid a higher risk of tooth decay.

Tooth decay starts with dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on teeth. Daily brushing and flossing clear this accumulation. But the hardware of braces makes it difficult to access all tooth surfaces, and can even become a haven for plaque.

One sign in particular of tooth decay while wearing braces is the appearance of chalk-like spots on the teeth known as white spot lesions (WSLs). WSLs occur because the minerals in the enamel beneath them have begun to break down in response to decay. The spots can eventually cause both structural and cosmetic problems for a tooth.

The best approach to WSLs is to prevent them from developing in the first place. You'll need to be extra vigilant with daily oral hygiene while wearing braces to reduce plaque buildup. To help with the increased difficulty you might consider using a special toothbrush designed to maneuver more closely around orthodontic hardware. You may also find using a water flosser to be a lot easier than flossing thread.

Preventing tooth decay and WSLs also includes what you eat or drink to reduce the effects of enamel de-mineralization. The bacteria that cause decay thrive on sugar, so limit your intake of sweetened foods and beverages. And to avoid excessive demineralization cut back on acidic foods as well.

If despite your best preventive efforts WSLs still form, we can take steps to minimize any damage. For one, we can give your enamel a boost with fluoride applications or other remineralization substances. We can also inject a tooth-colored resin beneath the surface of a WSL that will make it less noticeable.

With any of these and other treatments, though, the sooner we can treat the WSL the better the outcome. Practicing good hygiene and dietary habits, as well as keeping an eye out for any WSL formations, will do the most to protect your new and improved smile.

If you would like more information on preventing dental disease while wearing braces, 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 “White Spots on Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”


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
June 07, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
BaseballsFranciscoLindorShinesasMrSmile

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”




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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