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.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
March 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Do you need dental crowns? One of the most revolutionary developments in modern dentistry is the development of dental crowns. There Crownare many advantages to dental crowns, which makes choosing a dentist who offers them a fabulous idea. Dr. Joel Johnson is one of the finest dentists in Columbia, SC. Here are five benefits of dental crowns!

1. Improve Your Smile- Dental crowns can improve the appearance of your smile. Dental crowns can improve the look of broken, misshapen or discolored teeth. Dental crowns strengthen the teeth and can be used to improve their appearance, alignment or shape.

2. The Luster of Real Teeth- If you want a natural-looking smile, then porcelain is the way to go. All-porcelain crowns are created from a block of ceramic, which is natural-looking and beautiful. The single block of porcelain resembles a person's tooth structure. Nothing gives the same translucency, luster, and depth like all-porcelain dental crowns.

3. A Better Color Match- It's important that you have a crown that matches your natural teeth. With dental crowns, your dentist can choose from over 10 shades to allow him or her to give you a dental restoration that is better matched to the natural color of your teeth.

4. Durability and Strength- Dental crowns are known for their great strength and durability. Dental crowns are tough like natural tooth structure. Your dental crown will be created from a thick block of porcelain that is able to withstand wear and tear. Dental crowns will restore full function of your weak or damaged teeth.

5. A Healthy Smile for Life- A dental crown can last a lifetime. To achieve this goal, you will need to maintain a high level of oral hygiene. Keep your teeth and gums healthy by flossing and brushing regularly – especially around the dental crown. Using a mouth rinse can also help. Remember to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleanings.

If you need a dental crown, why wait? We can help you today. Call Dr. Joel Johnson at (803) 788-2555 today to schedule a consultation in Columbia, SC. With dental crowns, you can have a smile that's both strong and beautiful!

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
February 27, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental sealants  
DentalSealantscanhelpPreventToothDecayinChildren

While children are less likely than adults to experience periodontal (gum) disease, the same can't be said for tooth decay. One aggressive form of decay called early childhood caries (ECC) can have a profound effect on a child's dental development and future health.

That's why dentists who treat young children often use a variety of preventive measures to reduce the risk of ECC and other dental diseases. One popular method is dental sealants, dental material coatings applied to the biting surfaces of teeth that fill in the naturally occurring pits and crevices. These areas are highly susceptible to plaque formation, a bacterial biofilm of food particles that tends to accumulate on teeth. It's the bacteria that live in plaque that are most responsible for the formation of tooth decay.

Roughly one third of children between the ages of 6 and 11 have received some form of dental sealant. It's a quick and painless procedure applied during a routine office visit. The dentist brushes the sealant in liquid form on the teeth, and then hardens it with a special curing light. It's common for children to begin obtaining sealant protection as their molars begin to come in.

With their increased popularity among dentists, researchers have conducted a number of studies to see whether dental sealants have a measurable effect reducing tooth decay. After reviewing the cases of thousands of children over several years, many of these studies seemed to show that children who didn't receive sealants were more than twice as likely to get cavities as children who did.

As evidence continues to mount for dental sealants' effectiveness protecting young children from decay, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now recommend it for all children. Not only can sealants help preserve children's teeth now, but they can reduce future costs for dental treatment that results from tooth decay.

If you would like more information on children's dental sealants and other decay prevention measures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
February 17, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   gum disease  
TakeCareofYourGumsTakeCareofYourHeart

At this time of year, hearts are everywhere you look, so it's fitting that February is American Heart Month, a time to focus on cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the number one cause of death around the world. But did you know that there's a link between the health of your heart and the health of your mouth?

People with advanced gum disease have a higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event, but what is the connection? For one, oral bacteria found in gum disease can enter the bloodstream, where it has been found in artery-clogging plaque. In addition, untreated gum disease has been determined to worsen high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart attack, stroke and heart failure. One study reported that when gum disease was treated, high blood pressure fell by up to 13 points. But perhaps the most significant common denominator between gum disease and heart disease is inflammation, according to many researchers.

Gum disease is the most common inflammatory disease, affecting nearly 50% of US adults over 30, and 70% of those aged 65 and older, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The body's inflammation response is a key weapon in fighting infection. However, when there is chronic low-level inflammation such as occurs with untreated periodontal (gum) disease, many adverse health effects can result. In one Harvard University study, chronic inflammation was found to triple the risk of heart attack and double the risk of stroke.

The relationship between gum disease and heart disease is still not completely understood, but there's no denying that a connection exists between the two, so it's worth doing what you can to take care of both your gums and your cardiovascular health. Here are some tips:

  • Eat a heart-healthy—and gum-healthy—diet. A diet low in refined carbohydrates, high in fiber, vitamins C and D, antioxidants and Omega-3s has been shown to lower inflammation, benefitting your gums and your heart.
  • Quit smoking. Using tobacco in any form is a risk factor for developing both gum disease and heart disease.
  • Take care of your oral health. Gum disease can often be prevented—and reversed if caught early—simply with good oral hygiene, so be diligent about brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day.
  • Come in for regular cleanings and checkups. Regular cleanings can help keep your gums healthy, and an examination can determine if you have gum disease. Be sure to tell us about any medical conditions or medications.

As you think about what you can do to take care of your heart health and overall health, don't forget your gums. If you have questions about how to improve your oral health, call us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall” and “Carbohydrates Linked to Gum Disease.”





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