Posts for: May, 2017

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
May 24, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Losing permanent teeth is never good — unlike primary teeth, no natural replacements wait in the wings. But the good news is you have a number of options for replacing them with life-like prosthetic (false) teeth.

Today's premier choice is dental implants, preferred by dentists and patients alike for their durability and life-likeness. But because of their cost when replacing multiple teeth, many people opt for traditional dentures. And now dentures are easier to wear and maintain thanks to new, advanced materials and designs.

Still, there's one major area where implants have the definite edge over dentures — long-term bone health. Older bone cells die and dissolve (resorb), replaced then by newly formed cells. Teeth help perpetuate this cycle through the forces generated when we chew that travel through the roots to stimulate the formation of new bone.

But because this stimulation through a tooth ends when it's lost, new bone beneath the empty socket may not keep up with the resorption rate of older bone. As a result, you could lose as much as a quarter of normal bone width in just the first year after losing a tooth.

This bone loss will continue to accumulate even if you wear dentures, which can't replicate the bone growth stimulation of natural teeth. What's more, the constant pressure on the bony ridge of the gums can accelerate bone loss. Eventually, the firm, comfortable fit you first had with your dentures will become looser and less comfortable with the shrinking bone volume.

Implants, on the other hand, can stop bone loss and may even reverse it. This is because the titanium metal of an implant has a special affinity with bone cells that readily grow and adhere to it. This creates the anchorage responsible for the implant's durability, but it's also healthy for the bone.

Of course, this doesn't have to be a binary choice between the two restorations thanks to a new hybrid advancement that combines implants with dentures. We can install as few as two implants to support a removable denture. You'll enjoy greater stability, fit and durability with your dentures, while also improving bone health through the implants.

So before you decide on a dental restoration, be sure to discuss with us your implant options. Your oral health and appearance could benefit immensely.

If you would like more information on dental restoration, 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 Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
May 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Why live with a dull smile when you can easily get a whiter, more radiant smile in no time?teeth whitening

Don’t get us wrong; at-home teeth whitening kits and whitening toothpastes can certainly be a great way to prevent new stains from forming, but in terms of battling those stubborn, set-in stains, these over-the-counter products fall flat. Don’t let your smile fall flat, too. Our Columbia, SC, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Joel Johnson, makes it easy to achieve a glowing smile through professional teeth whitening.

Did you know that the enamel, or outer layer of your tooth, has pores? That’s right, they do! Just like pores on your skin can trap bacteria, these pores in your enamel can trap stains caused by eating certain foods or drinks, or by tobacco use. Stains can also set in if you aren’t someone who maintains good oral health.

Of course, as we get older, we also notice that age takes a toll on the color and radiance of our smile. That’s because the enamel layer gets thinner over time and the layer underneath the enamel, known as the dentin, gets darker.

If you want to tackle these external stains that sit on the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, then professional teeth whitening could be right for you. Traditional in-office teeth whitening uses a professional-grade bleaching gel that you won’t be able to find over-the-counter. This gel contains a high percentage of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, the two most common active ingredients for whitening natural teeth. The gel is applied over the teeth right here in our Columbia dental office.

The gel will remain on your teeth as we direct a special light beam over your teeth to help speed up the gel’s whitening process and to get your smile several shades whiter. In-office whitening can take as little as 30 minutes and up to one hour or more, depending on the severity of your stains and the results you want to achieve.

Some patients will be more than satisfied with only getting one whitening sessions while others may choose to return to our Columbia dentist for repeat treatments to get an even whiter smile. There is no faster and easier way to get a smile multiple shades whiter in about one hour.

Don’t let dental stains ruin your beautiful smile. Dr. Johnson is dedicated to giving you a smile you’ll always be proud to show off. If you want to learn more about getting teeth whitening treatment in Columbia, SC, then call us today.

By Joel E. Johnson, DMD, PA
May 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

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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