Dental Services In Mountain View, CA
David A Johnson, DDS has provided personalized dental care to thousands of families in and around Mountain View, CA. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide. We pride ourselves in utilizing the most modern equipment and methods available.
In order to provide nothing but the best to our patients, our Mountain View CA dentist office uses state-of-the-art technologies in all our procedures. These new technologies allow us to detect dental concerns at early stages, treat your dental issues with precision, and provide stunning and customized restorations. Our premium dental software system maximizes your time and our office efficiency. When you visit our office you can be confident that you are receiving the finest and most advanced in dental care.
Click the Services below for more information on each subject.
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth and gums will not only improve your smile and your self esteem, it could improve your general health as well.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.
Between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
- Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
- Use dental products and toothpaste that contain fluoride.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to.
- Make sure that your children under 10yrs of age drink fluoridated water, or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area.
- After a meal, if you can’t brush, rinse several time with water. Swish and Swallow. The small bits of food that remain will continue to feed the decay causing bacteria for 20 minutes or more after you are done eating.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity reaches all the way into the pulp. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and that infection could even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point that it needs root canal therapy. Once the pulp is infected it must be treated, it cannot heal on its own. A tooth abscess could also weaken your entire immune system.
Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting pressure, or a bad taste in the mouth. There are times, however, when no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until the tooth discolors or an x-ray shows a problem.
When a root canal is performed, the nerve canals of the tooth are cleaned, medicated, and filled to insure no infection remains within the tooth. The only other treatment option would be to extract the tooth. Root canal teeth tend to be weakened and brittle. This usually necessitates a core build-up and crown be done to restore the tooth.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth. The dental implant is a metal post (or artificial root) most often placed by a periodontist or oral surgeon. Once in place, and once the bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits and are now considered the standard of care. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last longer than the average crown. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework, since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits, as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling "bonds" with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades it will closely match your natural teeth.
Tooth bonding can also be used for fillings, instead of amalgam (silver) fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Bonded fillings can be used on front and back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your oral health and appearance. Although Dr Johnson will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still some occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted. A tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:
- Severe decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
After careful examination and treatment, Dr. Johnson may advise you to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, we will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.
A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction. This can be minimized with a pain killer and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After an extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever, call our office immediately.
NIGHTGUARDS / MOUTHGUARDS
Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible acrylic, hard acrylic, or a combination of hard and soft acrylic. They are custom molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are also recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect your teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, we will take an impression of your teeth which will be used to make a custom fitted guard for you. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.
Sealants are used to fill in narrow deep grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These grooves will develop cavities over time if not sealed. When placing a sealent the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from one of our dental hygienists. These appointments are scheduled for 1 hour to allow adequate time for a thorough cleaning, any needed x-rays, hygiene instructions, and an examination by Dr. Johnson. Your hygienist will take great care to remove all plaque and any calculus (tartar) from the exposed tooth surfaces. They will evaluate your dental health and explain their findings to you as well as to Dr. Johnson. Should there be evidence of any dental concerns, we will explain and discuss what options are available to you. In some situations this may involve a follow-up appointment where Dr. Johnson will spend time with you to further evaluate and discuss your dental needs.
If we find your gums have mild to moderate periodontal disease, scaling and root planing will be necessary. Scaling and root planing, also referred to as a “deep cleaning”, focuses on smoothing the root surfaces and removing calculus from the tooth below the level of the gum tissue. We will generally do this in two separate 2 hour appointments. With advanced periodontal disease surgery may be required.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available, partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all the teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!
Complete Dentures - A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. A partial denture usually consist of plastic teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base and held in place in the mouth with metal clasps that rap around some of the remaining teeth. This fills the space created by missing teeth, improves chewing function, and creates support for remaining teeth to prevent shifting.
Partial Dentures - This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function if all your teeth have been lost. The dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned into a patients mouth to take the place of their missing natural teeth. Complete dentures are removable and their retention may need to be aided with implants.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Dental treatments for this condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding of the teeth. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
Problems in this area can cause:
- Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
Once a tooth has been damaged by decay or chipping, a filling is used to restore the tooth to its normal shape and function. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, Dr Johnson will first remove the decayed and weakened tooth structure, clean the affected area, and then fill the tooth. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. Dr Johnson will work with you to determine which material is best for you. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are a less expensive choice. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth. Silver filling have been seen to cause fractures in back teeth. The use of silver fillings is controversial to many people. Dr Johnson has chosen not to use silver fillings for his patients.
- Composite (plastic) resins fillings are made to blend into your existing tooth shade which creates a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they are not as strong as porcelain fillings. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays, onlays, veneers, and crowns. Dr Johnson, using CEREC technology, can fabricate these stronger restorations while you are in the office. No need for you to wear a temporary while your case is sent to a dental lab. No need for a second appointment either. These restorations can be matched to the color of your tooth and they will resist staining. A porcelain restoration blends into the surrounding tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
- Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. In many situations gold is considered the best filling material. Why? It won’t chip and it’s easy to work with. But, who wants to show gold? With the development of stronger ceramics the concern of chipping is virtually eliminated. In many instances a ceramic restoration is as strong as a natural tooth.
WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTIONS
Wisdom teeth are the last molars, or "third molars" that develop on each side of the jaws. Wisdom teeth usually emerge in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20.
Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
A wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. The dentist will numb the area in your mouth with a local anesthesia or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure.
After their removal you may be asked to bite down softly on a piece of gauze for 45-60 minutes after you leave the office, to limit any bleeding that may occur. Some pain and swelling may occur but it will normally go away after a few days. You should call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.
LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE® are porcelain veneers that offer the painless way to a permanently whiter and perfectly aligned smile. These contact lens-thin "smile shapers" can be applied to teeth without any grinding or shaving, transforming teeth into a naturally beautiful smile that looks perfect for every individual. LUMINEERS can even be placed over existing crown or bridgework without having to replace them.
Our team has taken numerous advanced training courses on this procedure. To see if you are a candidate, call our office for a complimentary consultation.Click here to learn about LUMINEERS.
Halitosis is the sophisticated word for "bad breath". Depending on the cause, bad breath may strike on occasion or may be a more persistent condition. The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria. Because the mouth is moist and warm, it creates perfect conditions for the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth. In fact, approximately 80% of bad breath is caused by something in the mouth.
Bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth can easily be treated. Brushing your teeth, tongue and gums after meals as well as flossing and rinsing with mouthwash will usually take care of the problem. Regular visits to the dentist should be made for dental examinations and for professional teeth and gum cleaning.
Some types of bad breath, such as "morning mouth," are considered fairly normal and are not usually health concerns. However, persistent bad breath may be a sign of more serious problems with the gums and teeth or your general health.
Bad breath may be caused by the following:
- Poor dental hygiene - poor oral hygiene can leave food particles to decay in the mouth
- Infections in the mouth such as periodontal (gum) disease
- Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
- External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing through the mouth
- Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
Call our office promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth. We will perform an examination of your mouth to determine the cause. If we discover that systemic problems may be the cause, we will refer you to your family physician.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually done only to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. Veneers can be “Direct” or “Indirect”. The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin,(white filing material), on the outside of the tooth using bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are be prepared, impressions are then taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and will have exceptional esthetics.
It some cases we can do “No Prep” veneers. These porcelain veneers offer a painless way to a permanently whiter and perfectly aligned your smile. These contact lens-thin "smile shapers" can be applied to teeth without any grinding or shaving, transforming teeth into a naturally beautiful smile that looks perfect for every individual.
CROWNS AND BRIDGES
Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but can dramatically improve a tooth's appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns may be used to:
- Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
- Prevent a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge when replacing a missing tooth
- Cover a dental implant
- Restore a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. Our office offers two methods of whitening: in-office whitening and tray whitening.
In-office whitening is an ideal procedure for anyone wanting immediate results. Because the entire procedure takes place in our office in about an hour, it is the perfect choice for busy individuals. In this process, a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. A special light-activated gel is then applied to your teeth and a special light is used to enhance the action of the agent. Finally, we take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays for at home touch-up, and give you instructions for keeping your smile bright. The result is dramatically whiter teeth that will last for years.
Tray whitening is a less expensive whitening treatment you can use while in the comfort of your own home to gradually whiten teeth. We will first take an impression of your teeth to create a customized clear tray that you will wear to whiten your teeth. Within a few days your trays will be ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. The whitening gel trays should be worn 30-60 minutes up to twice a day. Within 1-2 weeks you will see maximum whitening results that are nothing short of dazzling. Occasional retreatment can be used at your convenience to maintain your new smile.
PERIODONTAL (GUM) TREATMENT
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for your teeth. Combined these structures are referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. In most cases, with proper gum treatments, it should be possible to return your gum tissue to a healthy state. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. Initial treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing often done under a local anesthetic. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. Early detection and treatment are key. The earlier it’s treated the better the results. This is why it is important to have it treated at the first sign of a problem.
Click the Technologies below for more information on each subject.
Air abrasion is a drill-less and more gentle approach to remove decay from the teeth. An air abrasion unit is a small instrument that blasts a fine stream of air and particles onto the teeth to spray away decay. The small particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide or baking soda and aid in cleaning the tooth surface. Air abrasion allows for decay to quickly be removed while conserving healthy tooth structure. The particles and decay are then suctioned out of the mouth.
Air abrasion is gentle because it generates no heat, sound, pressure or vibration. In addition, it reduces the need for anesthesia, making it an ideal choice for children and those who experience dental anxiety.
We use digital imaging software in our office, which allows us to take a digital picture of you and use our imaging system to predict how a particular treatment or cosmetic procedure would change the appearance of your teeth. This software is beneficial for patients who are considering cosmetic procedures but are not sure if they're ready for dramatic changes. Digital imaging also allows us to document your dental case and procedures very well. We take digital images of your face, teeth and smile to provide us with a permanent dental record and to provide a visual documentation of treatment.
CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This high-tech equipment allows us to restore damaged teeth with beautiful custom ceramic crowns in a single visit, completely eliminating the need or multiple appointments over a several week period. The process can create a ceramic dental crown, inlays, onlays or veneers using a variety of technologies including 3D photography and computer-aided design and manufacturing known as CAD/CAM.
Using an intra-oral camera, a photograph is taken of the tooth and the picture is loaded onto the computer. Using Computer Aided Design technology, the dentist is able to design the restoration and transform the image into a three-dimensional model. This valuable program then allows the dentist to easily calculate the appropriate restoration shape and size to create near perfect restoration. When the model is ready, a milling machine then creates the restoration using a high-speed diamond bur and calculated precision. The restoration is then bonded to the tooth using a resin material. The result is a beautiful and custom designed and produced restoration, made entirely to fit your mouth. CEREC crowns are metal-free and have been used for over 20 years.
Our office utilizes electronic claims processing. This means that rather than sending your dental claim through the mail, it is sent electronically to your insurance company with the click of the button. By filing your claim electronically, information is submitted more efficiently and with fewer errors. This benefits our patients because the turn around time on claims is faster and fewer claims are returned or denied. We are happy to submit your dental claims to your insurance company on your behalf.
The dentist performs most of his dental procedures while wearing a pair of funny looking glasses called surgical telescopes. These powerful glasses have magnifiers on them, allowing the dentist to see fine details that would go unnoticed to the naked eye.
We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums.
With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.
CEREC CAD/CAM CHAIRSIDE RESTORATION SYSTEM
Our office utilizes CAD/CAM technology. CAD/CAM stands for "computer-aided design" and "computer-aided manufacturing". This technology allows the dentist to use an intra-oral scanner inside your mouth to take a digital scan of a tooth that has been prepared to receive a crown. Using special software, the data from the scan is used to generate a design (CAD) for a custom crown. This program will also generate a custom blue print and guide lines to manufacture the new crown (CAM). This software, paired with a state-of-the-art milling machine, enables our office to create precise and custom crowns, inlays and onlays in one single dental visit.
Laser dentistry is the latest advancement in dental technology, treating a wide range of dental and cosmetic problems from cavities to gum disease to teeth whitening. The lasers we use in laser dentistry at our practice are an alternative to the common hand-held scalpel, drills, or other tools. These lasers direct an invisible energy beam onto problem areas and allow us to efficiently treat decayed teeth, enamel, and gums. The benefit of laser dentistry is that they minimize the pain most often associated with dental procedures, meaning more comfort to our patients. Clinical studies show that approximately 96% of all patients require no anesthesia when lasers are being used during dental treatments. Dental lasers have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are safe for both adults and children.
Soft Tissue Laser
Soft tissue lasers are used to safely remove soft tissue, such as excess gum tissue. The soft tissue laser can also be employed to destroy bacteria in gum pockets, preventing infection and allowing the tissue to return to a healthy state. The soft tissue laser enables the dentist to treat our patients with extreme accuracy and eliminates the need for most stitches.
Providing the absolute best service to our patients is of the highest importance to our office. To aid in achieving this goal, we use a new high-tech device called the DIAGNOdent. This small tool is a portable laser that allows us to detect cavities on the chewing surface of the back teeth that would have otherwise gone undetected by previous methods. Diagnosing cavities in the back of the mouth using traditional methods is difficult; studies even show that 50% of cavities are left undetected in these areas. However, the new DIAGNOdent enables us to locate and treat these cavities, putting a stop to further decay. The laser is easy to use, harmless, and will alert us with an audible signal if it detects a cavity. It will even calculate the approximate size of the cavity so we can better plan treatment. By using this device, you can rest assured that cavities will be accurately detected and treated in their infancy.