We are SO honored to have won the 2020 United Way of Cass-Clay 🏆 Best NEW United Way Campaign 🏆 award! We love to partner with United Way to help our community and create a better tomorrow for all of us! We couldn’t have done it without the support of our whole team and are so thankful for how generous they all are!

It was our 10th birthday on January 14, 2021! It’s so crazy how time has flown by and how the practice has grown over the years!

In January of 2011, Dr. Marvin Ugland sold his practice to Dr. Johnson. Then in the fall of 2017, James F. Johnson, DDS was officially renamed to Saving Smiles Dentistry. In January of 2018, Dr. Johnson helped another fellow dentist, Dr. James Colbert, begin his journey to retirement. With that, Fargo Family Dentistry became a part of Saving Smiles Dentistry, and our team grew! Then in June of 2019, Saving Smiles Dentistry welcomed Dr. Kenneth Bartholomew to the practice as a second doctor.

We are so grateful for everyone who has supported us over the past 10 years and we look forward to many more!

In December, we had three groups of team members join Hope Blooms in putting together flower arrangements for those in our community. Hope Blooms is a non-profit whose focus is “inspiring hope, happiness & emotional healing through repurposed flowers.” They have delivered these flowers to schools, assisted living facilities, and hospice.

We don’t need to reiterate how difficult this past year has been with the pandemic. “It’s really important to lift one another up during these difficult times and as a community, I feel like we do this very well,” Scheduling Coordinator Kaelin said.

Dental Assistant Jacque chooses to volunteer in our community because of how much she cherishes her family. “I want my kids to grow up in a community where people help each other,” she said.

Our team loves to volunteer throughout the year and Saving Smiles encourages the team to give back to the community when they can. “Volunteering is a great way to get to know your community and the people that live there,” Dental Hygienist Kim said. “There is always a need somewhere and donating my time helps to give me a sense of purpose by serving those around me.”

Dental Assistant Lisa agrees that volunteering is important. “There are a lot of health benefits found with those who volunteer and give back,” she said. “I hope the act of kindness becomes contagious.”

Our team chose Hope Blooms because two of our values align with their mission: compassion and community. “I love that Hope Blooms repurposes flowers to show gratitude and beauty to members of our community,” Dental Assistant Kelly said. “It minimizes waste and brightens someone’s day. Win-win!”

Dental Hygienist Allie enjoyed giving back and being able to let her artistic side shine. “I appreciate the concept [of Hope Blooms]….It was fun to be able to be creative in a way I am usually not,” she said. “It is a great way to help brighten people’s day and spread joy.”

The team members who were able to volunteer with Hope Blooms enjoyed bringing beauty and kindness to the community. “It makes me happy when I can help others and brighten their day,” Dental Hygienist Bailee said. “One small act of kindness can make someone’s day, especially if they are feeling down.”

If you have interest in giving back in a safe and fun way, learn more about Hope Blooms here: https://www.hopeblooms.org/.

November is the perfect time to think about all the things we are grateful for, especially after how challenging this year has been. Our team is thankful for the support we get to spend time giving back to our community. The best way for us to show our gratitude is by helping make the world a better place.

Saving Smiles Dentistry became a Marquee Sponsor for the Historic Fargo Theatre this fall. By making a donation, we were able to have our name on the Fargo Theatre Marquee. Our team wanted to help support the survival of this 94-year-old non-profit because we appreciate how they have been able to connect people in our community through film, history and performing arts.

Our assistants recently volunteered with Toothbrush Ministries’ Brush ‘N Learn event. This organization focuses on helping others have basic self-care items. Our team members were able to go into Head-Start programs (fully masked) to help educate youth on oral health. It was important for our team because we know that if these children are educated on dental hygiene when they are young, these habits will follow them into adulthood.

One of our hygienists recently joined the Heart and Soul Community Café in preparing 500 sack lunches to members of our community with food insecurities. Heart and Soul Community Café is a non-profit that serves locally-grown fresh food. This is important to our team because we know how important diet is for oral health.

We also partnered with the United Way in their Live United, Give United campaign last week. We were a match sponsor for their online and drive-thru event. United Way focuses on reducing hunger and homelessness, preparing children to succeed, helping people be independent and lifting people out of poverty.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and knowing that it will look different from previous years’ holidays, we have continued to remind ourselves just how thankful we are for so many things; especially being a part of our community.


When you think of going to see your dental hygienist, what comes to mind?

Most people think of a teeth cleaning. One of the most important responsibilities of your hygienist is that they are checking the overall health of your mouth.

They do a thorough evaluation of teeth, gums, tongue and bone. Hygienists also take x-rays so they can check for any problems in places that are not easily visible, such as between teeth and under fillings and crowns. They educate about good nutrition and ways to keep your mouth healthy. The cleaning itself involves removing plaque and calculus above and below your gum line, followed by thoroughly polishing and flossing your teeth.

We recommend visiting your hygienist 2-4 times a year. They can help maintain your health and catch any issues before they become bothersome. In turn, this could help you save time and money.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month and our team wanted to share with you a few ways that you can help observe this special month with them:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Change out your toothbrush every 3 months (more often if it is worn or after you have been sick)
  • Use mouthwash once per day

One of our fabulous hygienists, Kim, brought in some fabulous Pumpkin Brownie Muffins and we wanted to share the healthy fall recipe with you!

Pumpkin Brownie Muffins

Nutrition Information:

76 calories, 10 g carbs, 1 g protein, 4 g fat, 1 g fiber, 9 g sugar


1 box (approximately 18 oz.) chocolate cake mix
1 can 15 oz. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix chocolate cake mix, pumpkin puree and ¾ cup of chocolate chips
  3. Line 12 muffin tins
  4. Fill muffin liners with mix
  5. Sprinkle each with chocolate chips (the remaining ¼ cup)
  6. Bake 12-20 minutes
  7. Keep for 2 days or freeze

Take advantage of your dental benefits before they expire!

We know that 2020 has been especially busy and chaotic with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our patients and their families have had to make adjustments as they have navigated working and learning from home. With all the changes that have occurred, we want to remind you that most dental benefits expire December 31 of each year. Along with your insurance benefits, most FSA accounts are a “use-it-or-lose it” benefit and also expire at the end of the year.

Many patients realize this last minute and our November and December appointment times fill up very quickly. Please call us today to schedule a dental appointment for your next cleaning or any dental treatment that got put on hold with the crazy year!

We’d be happy to help you understand your dental benefits and answer any questions you may have to get your dental needs taken care of before the end of the year!

Let’s face it: cavities are not something any of us want. They are especially unpleasant for young children who haven’t yet learned to communicate their needs. Many infants end up with what is referred to as “baby bottle decay.”

This condition is commonly found with children who take a bottle to bed with them. If a child sips on juice or milk throughout the night, the sugars from these beverages are broken down by the bacteria in the mouth and produce acids that can destroy the teeth. These bacteria can stay active for up to an hour, which means that if a child takes periodic sips throughout the night, the bacteria are active for an hour after each individual sip.

If caught in the very early stages, cavities can often be treated. However, since the early stages are difficult to see, most childhood decay isn’t realized until later, more serious stages. If left unchecked, these teeth will deteriorate all the way down to the gum line and become infected. Severely decayed teeth would require extraction. If this occurs, children may develop poor eating habits, speech problems and damaged adult teeth.

The best and easiest solution to this problem is to adjust their nighttime beverage to water as it does not contain the sugars that cause the bacteria to be active. It is also recommended to check your child’s mouth regularly and to make a dental appointment if you notice anything unusual.

A denture is an appliance used for replacement of missing teeth. There are different types of dentures that patients can get, different quality levels of dentures and different ways to keep dentures in a person’s mouth.

Before we make a set of removable dentures for a patient, we have a conversation discussing how dentures are different than a person’s natural/original teeth. Most people who get dentures have an adjustment period of a year as removable dentures do not chew like natural teeth and many people must retrain themselves how to eat.

Below we will discuss the two most common ways to replace teeth with dentures:

Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures are typically the preferred way to make someone a new set of teeth. Traditional dentures tend to provide a better fit with less adjustments and patients like being able to see what the teeth look like prior to finishing the denture.

The biggest downside is they take a little longer to make. Traditional dentures require the patient to be without teeth for 6-8 weeks to allow for adequate healing and bone remodeling post extractions. People who are having their second or third set of dentures made will have their new dentures fabricated this way.

Immediate Dentures

Most people who prefer immediate dentures are transitioning to having dentures for the first time. With this option, the patient will never go without teeth, as the day the natural teeth are removed the immediate dentures are placed.

The immediate dentures depend on the dentist and the lab speculating on how the bone is going to heal after the extraction of the original teeth.  Since the patient is unable to try-in the dentures to ensure proper fit prior to the completion of them, this can cause the dentures to have a poor fit. Normally the lab will have to reline the dentures 9-12 months after having the teeth removed to ensure proper fit.

Even with having dentures, we recommend patients be seen at least every 2 years to check the fit of the dentures and to monitor their gum tissues.

Last week we were able to take an afternoon before the long 4th of July weekend and gather as a team to celebrate the long hours and extra procedures it has taken to keep our team and patients safe over the last two months!

We decorated cookies from Indulgence Baking Co., tested out many tie dye techniques and were able to just take a breath and relax!

The fun event along with a 4-day holiday weekend has us rested and ready to finish out the summer while still navigating the additional safety procedures to protect our team and patients from COVID-19!


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