Posts for: May, 2016


A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.

We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?

Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.

When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?

In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.

So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.

If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
May 12, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

How Teeth Whitening Can Improve your Smile

You remember how nice it was to have a youthful, white smile. When you smiled at people, they smiled back. Now, you can regain your smile with a teeth whitening treatment. Professional teeth whitening has become state-of-the-art. Treatments are easy, effective, and Teeth Whiteningquick. You can remove years of stains and discolorations with new whitening treatments. Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, South Carolina wants to share some of the benefits of modern teeth whitening with you.

Many foods and beverages can stain your teeth including berries, coffee and red wine. Let’s not forget tobacco use, which can cause heavy, thick black stains. Many stains can’t be removed by brushing, even with whitening toothpaste. In fact, most over-the-counter whitening products have little benefit, and the results usually don’t last as long as you would like.

Dr. Johnson wants you to know the main reason why your teeth aren’t as white as they once were. It’s because of normal aging. Aging affects your body and especially your teeth. As the years go by, your enamel becomes thinner and more transparent. You and everyone else can now see through to the layer underneath, called dentin. Dentin is yellow and turns a darker yellow as you age. Your entire smile looks now looks dull, yellow and dark.

If your smile looks old and dull, it’s time to try a professional whitening treatment. Dr. Johnson offers effective teeth whitening options designed to fit with your needs and busy schedule. You can choose from:

  • Opalescence Go or prefilled disposable trays. This allows you to wear them for 15 minutes to one hour each day. These are very convenient for the busy individual who does not have time for at-home whitening kits.
  • Whitening for life. This is the best value for any patient. If you decide on this program, we will take impressions during your routine teeth cleaning. Each visit, you will be given more bleach for the rest of your life as long as you keep up with your appointments . If you miss appointments, the deal will expire.
  • At-home whitening treatment kits are for those who want a convenient treatment you can use in the privacy of your home whenever you wish; the whitening kit includes a custom whitening tray made by Dr. Johnson and prescription strength bleaching gel.

Whichever method you choose, professional whitening can whiten your teeth up to 8 shades whiter with results that can last 5 years! If you want your smile to have a new look, it’s time to consider a professional whitening treatment. You don’t have to put up with an old, dull smile. Call Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, South Carolina and find out more about your new look! Call today!


It’s a big moment after months of wearing braces to finally get a glimpse of your new smile. The crooked teeth and poor bite are gone — and in their place are beautiful, straight teeth!

If you’re not careful, though, your new look might not last. That’s because the natural mechanism we used to straighten your teeth may try to return them to their previous poor positions.

Contrary to what many people think, teeth aren’t rigidly set within the jaw bone. Instead, an elastic, fibrous tissue known as the periodontal ligament lies between the teeth and the bone and attaches to both with tiny fibers. Though quite secure, the attachment allows the teeth to move in very minute increments in response to growth or other changes in the mouth.

Orthodontic appliances like braces or clear aligners put pressure on the teeth in the direction we wish them to move. The bone dissolves on the side of the teeth where pressure is being applied or facing the direction of movement and then builds up on the other side where tension is occurring.

The ligament, though, has a kind of “muscle memory” for the teeth’s original position. Unless it’s prevented, this “memory” will pull the teeth back to where they used to be. All the time and effort involved with wearing braces will be lost.

That’s why it’s important for you to wear an appliance called a retainer after your braces have been removed. As the name implies, the appliance “retains” the teeth in their new position until it’s more permanently set. For most people, this means wearing it for twenty-four hours in the beginning, then later only a few hours a day or while you sleep.

The majority of younger patients eventually won’t need to wear a retainer once bone and facial growth has solidified their teeth’s new position. Older adults, though, may need to wear one from now on. Even so, it’s a relatively slight inconvenience to protect that beautiful, hard-won smile.

If you would like more information on retainers, 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 “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

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


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