My Blog

Posts for: January, 2015

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
January 29, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Discover the inner workings that make dental implants a successful tooth loss treatment.

Are you missing one or several natural teeth? Are you looking for a treatment option that could promise a long-term solution for your tooth loss? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here in St. Louis we offer implant dentistry to those who are looking to Dental Implantsregain a full smile after tooth loss. Over three million people already have dental implants and about 500,000 more patients opt for dental implants each year. If you want to become part of this growing statistic here is everything you need to know about how dental implants work.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant consists of a tiny cylindrical metal post that is carefully placed into the jawbone. The implant is usually made from titanium. On top of the implant your St. Louis dentist will place an abutment. This metal connector sits on top of the implant and connects it to the artificial replacement tooth.

How does a dental implant work?

Since an implant mimics a real tooth’s root, it is a permanent fixture within your mouth. A naturally occurring process known as osseointegration makes this possible. When we surgically implant the titanium screw into the missing tooth’s socket, then allow your mouth several weeks to heal, the bones and tissue begin to grow and fuse around the metal. Once this process is complete, the implant will be a sturdy, permanent piece within your mouth.

What happens after osseointegration?

Once the healing process is over (which takes a couple months) we will open up the gums and attach the abutment, or connector piece, to the top of the implant. Once this occurs several more weeks of healing will be necessary. The finally step is attaching the dental crown onto the abutment to replace your missing tooth and to restore your smile.

Who should consider getting dental implants?

A lot of factors go into making someone an ideal candidate for getting dental implants in St. Louis. Here are some things to consider:

  • You should have both good general and oral health
  • You shouldn’t have untreated gum disease or decay
  • You shouldn’t have uncontrolled health conditions like diabetes
  • You shouldn’t be undergoing chemotherapy or cancer therapy
  • You shouldn’t have a compromised immune system
  • You should be an adult
  • You should be a non-smoker (smokers have a significantly higher implant failure rate than non-smokers)

To find out whether dental implants are right for you, then schedule a consultation with your St. Louis dentist, Dr. JJ Johnson. During your initial consultation we will examine your smile and make sure implants are right for you. Let us give you your dream smile!

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
January 28, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

If (heaven forbid) you were to lose your two front teeth in an accident, and you needed to choose a tooth replacement method, which one would you pick? Once upon a time, that question faced Taylor Hicks, the former American Idol winner who now plays a regular gig in Las Vegas. Back then, when he was a high-school basketball star, Hicks happened to receive a blow to the mouth at a playoff game. As fate would have it, he also happened to be the son of… wait for it… a dentist. So what did he do?

The down-to-earth song stylist recently told Dear Doctor magazine how, immediately after the accident, his father administered first aid, getting him back into the game before it ended. Then, a short while afterward, Hicks had the gaps in his smile fixed with dental implants.

We think he made a good choice. While there are other tooth replacement systems, none offer the benefits provided by dental implants. In case you need a reminder, here are some facts about dental implants:

  • They have the highest success rate of any tooth replacement procedure — above 95%
  • They are the most durable type of replacement tooth — with proper care, they can last for the rest of your life
  • They look and “feel” completely natural, and require no special maintenance
  • They are the only tooth replacement system that essentially stops bone loss in the jaw (a natural consequence of tooth loss), helping to maintain good oral health
  • Over the long term, they can offer the best value for your investment in dental care

What makes dental implants work so well? Unlike bridgework or other methods, lifelike implant crowns are supported by a screw-like titanium metal insert, which actually becomes fused with the bone of the jaw. This not only provides the prosthetic teeth with a rock-solid anchorage, but it also helps provide the physical stimulation that bone needs to keep itself healthy. Lacking this stimulation, the jaw bone begins to atrophy and erode (melt away) — and if left untreated long enough, it can result in the appearance of premature aging and other oral health problems.

So if you have missing teeth — whether from an accident, disease, or another cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out whether dental implants might be right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Dental Implants.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
January 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Yes, you brush your teeth every day. But how much do you really know about this important habit? Test your knowledge with our quiz on dental vocabulary.

Choose the correct meaning for:

  1. Oral Hygiene
    1. Clean language
    2. The practice of keeping your teeth and gums clean
    3. A shade of lipstick
    4. A type of dental surgery
  2. Biofilm
    1. A movie about a person’s life, such as “Ray Charles”
    2. A new kind of cling wrap
    3. An accumulation of bacteria that forms a whitish, sticky film
    4. A tooth whitener
  3. Dental plaque
    1. A type of instrument used to clean teeth
    2. Bacteria that accumulate on teeth and gums
    3. An award given at the Dental Oscar ceremony
    4. Your dentist’s framed diploma
  4. Inflammation
    1. The body’s response to harmful bacteria
    2. A condition in which your gums become red and swollen and bleed easily
    3. A cause of gingivitis
    4. All of the above
  5. Periodontal disease
    1. Any disease caused by bacteria
    2. Tooth decay
    3. Whitish sores on the lips
    4. Gum disease caused by dental plaque
  6. Disclosants
    1. Simple dyes that can stain plaque and make it visible
    2. Television reality shows
    3. Dental x-rays
    4. A section of your annual tax report
  7. Gingivitis
    1. Any infection in the oral area
    2. Tooth decay
    3. Inflammation of the gums that can lead to periodontal disease
    4. All of the above
  8. Dental caries
    1. Gum disease
    2. A task carried out during your teeth cleaning
    3. A technique of orthodontia
    4. Tooth decay
  9. Fluoride
    1. A mineral that has been found to prevent tooth decay
    2. The location of a famous dental school
    3. A gasoline additive
    4. A type of house paint
  10. Inter-dental Area
    1. Referring to the area between your teeth
    2. The area regular proper flossing will keep clean
    3. Area that wood points and specially designed brushes can be used to clean
    4. All of the above

Answers: 1. b, 2. c, 3. b, 4. d, 5. d, 6. a, 7. c, 8. d, 9. a, 10. d

How did you do on our quiz? The more you know about keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy, the better you will look and feel. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about oral hygiene. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor article, “Oral Hygiene Behavior.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
January 06, 2015
Category: Oral Health

The world of dentistry can be a bit overwhelming for those of us who haven’t had years of extensive training in the field. Even if we know about braces, root canals, and veneers, it can be hard for us to classify what type of dentist we should see for our specific ailments.

Cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics are pretty popular specializations in the dental field, and so is restorative dentistry. Restorative dentistry is actually very similar to both of these specializations, and in fact, they share a lot of similar procedures. Restorative dentistry is the diagnosis and management of tooth and gum disease. Treatments are designed to preserve, or rather, restore the functional and aesthetic integrity of teeth, gums, and supporting boneDental Implants structures that have been damaged or lost.

Who Benefits from Restorative Dentistry?
Normally, the kinds of people who seek restorative dentistry are people who have lost teeth due to decay or injury. Other patients may be people who have damaged teeth with cavities, chips, or cracks. Restorative dentistry practices can help bring smiles back to their former glory, or even make them better.
The following sorts of treatments are included in restorative dentistry:

  • Dental implants
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Root canal therapy
  • Tooth-colored dental fillings

Why Choose Restorative Dentistry Treatments?
If you're seeking treatment to your damaged teeth or gums, there are plenty of good reasons to look into restorative dentistry options.

Dental implants are prosthetics that can restore individual or multiple teeth, and so can crowns and bridges. Dental implants are widely considered the best tooth restoration option available to patients today.

Dental fillings are the most common restorative procedure, and tooth-colored fillings are what most dentists recommend to repair cavities because they restore functionality without compromising the natural look of teeth.

To learn more about dental implants, dental fillings, and other types of restorative dentistry in the St. Louis, MO area, call (314) 427-7400 today!