Posts for: January, 2017

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
January 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
January 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

How a cosmetic dental procedure from your Columbia, South Carolina dentist can help your smile

If your smile is less-than-wonderful due to everyday wear-and-tear, aging, smoking, drinking coffee or some other genetic or lifestyle cosmetic dentistryissue, it’s time to take action and help your smile. Cosmetic dentistry can help you look your best, so you feel your best. It’s time for you to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem by reshaping your smile. Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, South Carolina, wants to share what veneers, teeth-whitening and crowns can do for your smile.

Porcelain veneers are a common cosmetic dentistry procedure that can provide dramatic results. Porcelain veneers are thin sheaths of porcelain which are permanently cemented over the front surfaces of teeth. They are a conservative procedure because Dr. Johnson will only remove a minimal amount of tooth structure, just thick enough to accommodate the veneers. Porcelain veneers are the natural-looking, beautiful way to correct teeth that are:

  • Badly broken or cracked
  • Spaced unevenly apart
  • Excessively worn down from aging
  • Heavily discolored from medications or lifestyle

A teeth whitening treatment is a very popular way to whiten your teeth up to 8 shades whiter and the dramatic results can last up to 5 years! You can take away years of yellowing from aging or diminish the effects of smoking or drinking coffee. Dr. Johnson offers a quick in-office whitening treatment that takes an hour, or a convenient kit you can take home. The kit has everything you need to whiten your teeth when the time is right for you.

Dental crowns can improve both the appearance and the function of your teeth. You can replace old, unsightly, bulky metal fillings with a strong, long-lasting dental crown. Dr. Johnson offers same day crowns, the revolutionary, completely natural-looking porcelain crowns that can be delivered in about 2 hours! You can have a new smile in just a couple of hours!

For amazing before-and-after photos of Dr. Joel Johnson’s patients, please visit the smile gallery page on his website at

These are just a few of the procedures available from the world of cosmetic dentistry. You can change what genetics and your lifestyle have done to your smile. For a complete listing of cosmetic and general dental treatments available, call Dr. Joel E. Johnson in Columbia, South Carolina to find out more!


Children have a lot of energy that's often channeled through physical activities and sports. Unfortunately, this also increases their risk of injuries, particularly to their teeth.

Injuries to the mouth can endanger permanent teeth's survival. For an older tooth, a root canal treatment might be in order. Not so, though, for a pre-adolescent tooth, even if it is permanent.

A young permanent tooth is still developing dentin, the large layer just below the enamel. This growth depends on the connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves within the pulp in the center of the tooth. Because a root canal treatment removes all of this tissue, it could stunt dentin and root growth and endanger the tooth's future.

Instead, we may need to treat it with one of a number of modified versions of a root canal, depending on what we find. If the tooth's pulp is unexposed, for example, we may need only to remove the damaged dentin, while still leaving a barrier of dentin to protect the pulp. We then apply an antibacterial agent to minimize infection and fill in the area where we've removed tooth structure.

If some of the pulp is exposed, we may perform a pulpotomy to remove just the affected pulp and any overgrown tissue. We then place a substance that encourages dentin growth and seal it in with a filling. If we go deeper toward the root end, we might also perform procedures that encourage the remaining pulp to form into a root end to stabilize the tooth.

If the entire pulp has been damaged beyond salvage, we may then turn to a procedure called an apexification. In this case we clean out the pulp chamber; at the root end we place mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA), a growth stimulator that encourages surrounding bone to heal and grow. We then fill in the root canals and chamber with a special filling called gutta percha to seal the tooth.

The deeper we must penetrate into the pulp, the higher the chances the young tooth's dentin and roots won't form properly, leading to later problems and possible loss. But by employing the appropriate one of these methods, we can minimize the risk and give your child's damaged tooth a fighting chance.

If you would like more information on children and dental injuries, 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 “Saving New Permanent Teeth after Injury.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
January 04, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

For many of us, getting to the dentist for necessary treatments like a cleaning, or even a filling can be difficult. Whether due to fear, busy schedules, or concerns over costs, millions of Americans forgo general and cosmetic dentistry treatments each year. According to Reuters, studies have found that less than half of American adults over the age of 65 regularly go to the dentist (at least once a year).

In addition to the elevated risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems, skipping the dentist also means needlessly living with cosmetic issues that tarnish the smile - and quality of life - over time. Dr. Joel Johnson, your dentist in Columbia, SC, advises patients to think of regular dental care as an extension of a general healthcare and wellness plan. In many cases, a single visit for a non-invasive professional teeth whitening or cosmetic bonding procedure is enough to give new life to a damaged smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Columbia, SC

Dr. Johnson offers treatment options for every situation and budget. Cosmetic dentistry procedures improve the appearance of the teeth (such as whitening), and they can also be restorative, improving function, such as with broken, fractured or missing teeth. Some of the most common cosmetic and restorative dental procedures include:

  • Teeth whitening - (take-home or in-office options available)
  • Bonding - cosmetic bonding is one of the most affordable and efficient methods for fixing minor chips, cracks, sizing and spacing issues. It is also commonly used to seal a tooth after a root canal
  • Porcelain veneers - similar to bonding, veneers can fix the size, shape, spacing and overall general appearance of the teeth, using natural looking composite resin
  • Implants - the cosmetic dental crowns are attached to an implant that replaces the root of the missing tooth

Contact Your Cosmetic Dentist in Columbia, SC

Even small cosmetic improvements can have a big impact on the overall appearance of your smile. For more information, and to find the procedure that is right for you, contact the office of Dr. Johnson by calling (803) 788-2555 to schedule an appointment today.

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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