Dental Services

If you had an appointment in November or December, we want to thank you for your patience with our construction zone, especially while in the waiting room! We were able to modify our existing layout to create an additional operatory that allows Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kenny to treat more of our patients each day.

A big shout out to Olaf Anderson, our Henry Schein Dental team, Jessica Watcher Art for the beautiful piece of art and of course Dan Francis Photography for the photos! We hope to see you soon and that you get to experience our new space!

Earlier this summer we explained what a crown is and why it might needed. For Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kenny to create a great fitting crown, extra steps are required. Here is what to expect when you come in for those appointments:

First, the assistant will take a mold of your tooth before any work is done. This mold will allow your temporary crown to be made. If the tooth is broken, don’t worry! We have pre-made crowns on hand, but our assistants can really work some magic to create a great temporary crown even if the tooth is broken. The assistant will also take this time to review your medical history, the treatment plan and take a blood pressure reading before the doctor comes in. The doctor will get that tooth numb, just like they do for fillings.

Next, the doctor will trim down the top and sides of the tooth to allow enough space for the lab to fabricate a crown to fit properly over your existing tooth. Depending on why your tooth needs the crown, the doctor may need to do what is called a build-up. This means material is being added back to the tooth to have enough solid structure for the crown to be cemented on. After the doctor is happy with the shape of the tooth, he will place some special cord just under the gum line. You may feel some pressure while the cord is being placed, but this insures a great impression for the lab and will be removed after the impression is completed.

The impression is up next. This is what the lab needs to make the crown custom-fit to your mouth. Thankfully we can utilize our scanner to take these impressions digitally and send the scans directly to the lab. At this point the doctor is done! The assistant will take over and make your temporary crown and go over any necessary after-care instructions.

When you return for the permanent crown, it is typically a much shorter appointment. Best of all, rarely does the doctor need to numb up the tooth! The assistant will remove the temporary crown and try in the permanent crown. The doctor will check it over making sure the fit is perfect before cementing it into place. We recommend nothing to eat or drink for 1 hour after your appointment, but then you’re good to use it like a regular tooth!

It’s hard to believe we’re already thinking about 2019 coming to an end, but we want to remind you that with most dental policies, any benefits not used by December 31 are gone with the new year.

If you’re overdue for a cleaning or haven’t had a chance to schedule the dental treatment recommended at your last visit, please call us to get those appointments scheduled. Our schedule fills up quickly this time of year and we’d hate for you to have to wait until next year to get your dental needs taken care of.

Our office is now open Fridays and we also have Dr. Kenny to help get our patients taken care of before we ring in the new year! Don’t be the person who forgets to use their insurance benefits and flex money, and then loses them! Call our office today (701) 237-4297.

Have you completed all of your back-to-school shopping for the kids? With the hustle and bustle of the school year beginning, we wanted to take a moment to remind you of our custom sports mouth guards.

A custom fitted mouth guard made in our office helps protect not just the teeth but also the jaw, in case of an accident. Our mouth guards provide a more comfortable, less bulky fit as well as better protection when compared to generic “boil and bite” options available in sporting stores. Not only will your kids protect their teeth but they will be able to choose from a selection of colors!

For your convenience, the custom-fitted mouth guards are made right here at the office and only cost $38.00. These guards only require a quick 10-minute appointment for our staff to take your child’s impression and are usually ready for pick-up in just a couple of days.

Please call us today to get your child’s 10-minute appointment scheduled!

Want to know why we are one of the best dental offices for you? Starting after Labor Day, we will be one of the few dental offices in Fargo open on Fridays!

You spoke and we listened! In order to better serve you, we now have availability on Fridays. September 6th 2019 will be the first official Friday we are open from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Call us now to schedule as our Fridays are already starting to fill up!

Often in the dental office we hear “I have TMJ”. TMJ actually refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint located on both sides of the jaw and attaches the jaw to the rest of the skull, so we hope you have TMJ! However, when a person has a problem with the joint it is called temporomandibular disorder or TMD for short.

It is very common for people to have a popping or clicking of one or both of these joints, as long as there is no pain associated we recommend just monitoring for changes.

However, if you are experiencing pain with regular jaw movement don’t hesitate to have your dentist check the joints. You may also experience frequent earaches, stiffness in the jaw muscles or a change in how your top and bottom teeth fit together. They may recommend having a custom night guard made and seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist to work with the joint and facial muscles.

If all of these options have been tried the next step is to set up an appointment with an oral surgeons who specializes in treating TMD.

Almost anyone who has dental work that needs to be done knows there is a chance that they will be “numbed up” by the dentist. But a common misconception people have is that they will get Novocaine as the numbing agent. Movies, television, and popular culture has Novocaine implanted in our minds as the only thing dentists use to get people numb.

Dentists no longer use Novocaine to numb patients, but rather products like Lidocaine and Septocaine. Novocaine is no longer used due to the increased time it takes to work, how long it is effective and its chances of causing allergic reactions.

Lidocaine and Septocaine are our preferred anesthetics due to their faster onset time, longer acting time and very minimal chance of allergic reactions. Both are clinically safe and provide a level of numbness beneficial to both patients and the dentist. Common side effects of Lidocaine and Septocaine are numbness (could last for a couple hours), drooling and bad taste (very bitter tasting stuff).

A dental crown is a cap or cover that is put over one of your existing teeth. Crowns are used to protect a weak tooth, fix a broken tooth, for cosmetic reasons, hold a bridge in place and to cover a dental implant. A crown does not mean you need a root canal! However, if a tooth has a root canal, it needs a crown. A crown is not a “fake tooth” as your natural tooth is still underneath the crown. The natural tooth has to be trimmed down on the sides and top of your tooth so that the crown can be fabricated by the dental lab to fit properly in your mouth.

Because your natural tooth is still under that crown, cavities can develop where the tooth and crown meet, so it is important to brush and floss ALL your teeth! Crowns have come a long way in terms of aesthetics. They no longer need a metal base and are made to look much more natural, coming in a wide variety of shades. You can even set up to have a custom shade match at the dental lab to get the best match to your natural adjacent teeth.

 

 

If you have silver (amalgam) or gold fillings, you may have considered having them replaced with tooth colored fillings (composite). Dr. Johnson does not recommend replacing this type of filling material if it is just for aesthetic reasons. Often insurance won’t cover the procedure to change to a composite filling if it is for a cosmetic reason.

Some patients have concerns about mercury being present in amalgam material. Many studies have been done showing that the filling material is safe for patients to have in their mouths. There are several metals that make up the amalgam material and when they combine, the mercury is biologically inert.

It is important to remember that anytime Dr. Johnson has to drill on a tooth, it is a type of surgery. If he were to replace a gold or silver filling with a tooth colored filling, he has to remove the tooth structure around where the old filling was to place a new filling. Anytime a tooth is worked on it can cause damage to the tooth, requiring more dental treatment.

Dr. Johnson and our team monitor all teeth for signs of decay, wear and cracks. When the time comes for a filling to be replaced for any of these necessary reasons, we would recommend replacing a silver or gold filling with a tooth colored (composite) filling.

Here is a link from the American Dental Association on what others have to say about amalgam fillings:

https://www.ada.org/en/press-room/press-kits/dental-fillings-press-kit/dental-amalgam-what-others-say

Why does Dr. Johnson have you stick your tongue out during an exam?

One of the most effective ways to diagnose oral cancer at an early stage is for a dentist to perform a quick oral cancer screening during your regular dental exam. Dr. Johnson looks at the lips, inside of the cheeks, gums and roof of the mouth. He also uses a piece of gauze to hold onto the tongue to get a good look at the sides and underneath the tongue during his exam.

If anything looks unusual, Dr. Johnson will have one of our team members take a picture utilizing an intraoral camera. Then we will have you return two weeks later to re-check the area. Typically, if it’s a spot that has had some sort of trauma it will heal in that two-week period. If there is not an improvement, we will help you schedule an appointment with one of the local oral surgeons to do a consult. The oral surgeon will utilize their specialized training to examine the area and complete a biopsy if necessary.

Risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use (both smoking and chewing), frequent and heavy alcohol use, certain types of HPV and prolonged sun exposure. However, a patient with none of these risk factors can still be diagnosed with oral cancer!

If you have noticed anything abnormal in or around your mouth, please call and make an appointment or mention it at your next visit!

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