Dr Johnson's Blog


Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 14, 2013

It’s Valentine’s Day, which most likely means you will have some chocolate or other sweet treats in your future. Be sure to take care of your teeth while you are indulging! Here are some dental tips recommended by Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners.

To ensure that your teeth remain strong and healthy and to avoid periodontal disease and gingivitis, here are some simple and easy tips:

  1. Brush Twice a Day: Brushing your teeth twice a day is the first step to good oral hygiene. Bacteria in your mouth converts food deposits that collect between teeth into acids. The mixing of these acids and your natural saliva results in plaque which leads to tooth decay and cavities. Plaque development starts immediately after eating. So brushing at least twice a day can minimize plaque accumulation.
  2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste: Since you are brushing anyway, use toothpastes that contains fluoride. Fluoride fights bacteria and helps prevent tooth decay.
  3. Floss Daily: Flossing allows you to remove plaque between your teeth. Between your teeth is the main area where plaque and tooth decay begin. You can counter this by flossing daily.
  4. Visit the Dentist: It is recommended that you visit the dentist at least 2 times a year. Seeing the dentist helps you find and fix cavities, tooth decay or any gum problems as soon as they start, preventing bigger problems later on.
  5. Eat a Diet Rich in Calcium: A healthy diet rich in calcium is one of the most basic tips for healthy and strong teeth. Drinking milk daily ensures healthy, strong, white teeth. Avoiding foods that have high sugar like candy, pretzels and chips is good for your teeth as well.

For more information on dental and oral health, visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org and remember, “See a Specialist…The Difference will make you Smile.”


Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Carrying a precious life is generally considered one of the greatest experiences a woman can have during her lifetime. However, according to Dr. Ryne Johnson, Prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, it also produces challenges that will impact one’s dental health. Understanding the dental implications of a pregnancy can assist in being pro-active and avoiding significant problems after delivery.

Keeping Your Oral Health On Top Of Your Mind

As you already know, your lifestyle and habits during pregnancy can affect your health as well as the health of your unborn baby. With all the things you need to be prepared for, your oral health may not exactly be top-of-mind. But maintaining the healthy teeth and gums is necessary to avoid the risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis and to establish good oral health long-term.

Postpone Dental Care During Your First Trimester

The first trimester of your pregnancy (the first 13 weeks) is the time in which most of the baby’s major organs develop. If you go to the dentist during your first trimester, tell your dentist that you’re pregnant and have only a checkup and routine cleaning. If possible, postpone any major dental work until after the first trimester. However, if you have a dental emergency, don’t wait! Infections in the mouth can be harmful to you and your baby. See your dentist immediately, and make sure that all dental professionals who examine you are aware you’re pregnant.

Know About Your Increased Risk of Gingivitis

During pregnancy, 50 to 70% of all women experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This is why it’s vital to pay more careful attention to your daily brushing and flossing routine to keep plaque under control. Here’s how:

  • Use a rechargeable electric toothbrush. Many remove more plaque than regular manual toothbrushes, and by investing in one, you can begin to take the steps to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth and help prevent and reverse gingivitis.
  • Brush with an anti-gingivitis toothpaste. Be sure to read packaging carefully to make sure the toothpaste contains gingivitis-fighting ingredients.
  • Floss regularly. Even if gingivitis causes your gums to swell and bleed, but you still need to floss. By flossing daily, you can eliminate more plaque than brushing alone and help reduce your risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis.
  • Rinse with anti-gingivitis mouthwash. Rinsing with an alcohol-free, anti-gingivitis mouthwash is the final step to killing germs and improving your oral hygiene during pregnancy.

Take About 1200mg of Calcium Daily

Your teeth are made of minerals similar to bone, and the calcium you take in aids in bone development in your baby. The right amount of calcium will help keep your bones strong and contribute to the development of strong teeth and bones in your baby.

Learn About the Medications You’re Taking

Some antibiotics and pain medications are okay to take during pregnancy and may be necessary. However, one group of antibiotics, tetracycline and related antibiotics may cause hypoplasia (underdevelopment) of tooth enamel and/or discoloration of the permanent teeth in children. Be sure to tell your doctor you’re pregnant if he or she prescribes this medication for you.

Be Prepared for Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that often occurs during pregnancy. It can happen at any time of day. If you suffer from morning sickness, having your own emergency travel bag is a good plan. In a small, sturdy bag, pack the following:

  • Opaque plastic bags without holes (Plastic grocery bags are a good choice)
  • Wet wipes, tissues or napkins to wipe your face and mouth
  • A small bottle of water to rinse your teeth and mouth
  • A travel-sized mouthwash, toothpaste and toothbrush to brush away stomach acids
  • Breath spray or mints

Deal with Changes in Your Mouth

During pregnancy, you may experience symptoms of dysgeusia (changing tastebuds or a bad taste in your mouth) or ptyalism (too much saliva). To help cope with a bad taste in your mouth:

  • Brush often, and gargle with a mixture of baking soda and water (1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in one cup of water) to help neutralize pH levels
  • Add lemon to water, drink lemonade or suck on citrus drops
  • Use plastic dinnerware and utensils to help decrease metallic taste

To help cope with an increase in saliva, drink plenty of fluid to increase swallowing. Sucking on SUGAR-FREE candies may also offer relief.

Ask a Professional Before Using Fluoride

While many prenatal vitamins contain fluoride, the value of fluoride and fluoride supplementation in pregnant women is unclear, and not everyone agrees on it. Be sure to consult your doctor if you’re curious about it.

Speak with your OB/GYN regarding these issues and for additional information, visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org and remember to, “See a specialist…The difference will make you smile”.

Original article produced by Oral B


Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 28, 2013

In 1987 computed tomography (CT) was introduced into dentistry which added another dimension to dental implant treatment planning. Prior to this technology, dental diagnosis and treatment planning relied on a two dimensional image which, in some instances, led to a false impression of available bone. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, Prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “This new technology allows clinicians for the first time to evaluate anatomic structures with a higher level of accuracy”.

In 1999 dental implant planning applications were developed, allowing interactive planning of virtual implants in 2-D and 3-D. The use of radiopaque templates/scanning appliances at the time of the CT scan made it possible for the prosthetic outcome to be incorporated into interactive pre-surgical planning. This advancement paved the way for an association between radiographic anatomic interpretation, prosthetic treatment planning, and precise surgical execution. Through the use of stereolithography and CAD/CAM technology, surgical templates can be fabricated, prior to surgery which helps clinicians place implants in a well-planned preoperative/prosthetic manner, rather than a ‘seat of the pants’ intraoperative planning, which is often surgical-driven.

The use of surgical templates can benefit the patient as well as the dental team (restorative dentist, surgical specialist, and laboratory technician). The work performed is generally more accurate and less invasive than in traditional cases. The ability to transfer the desired three-dimensional position of implants from the virtual model to the mouth has made this a more efficient outcome with far fewer risks and better outcomes.

The surgical template essentially has two functions: one for the surgical phase and one for the laboratory phase. It is used as a laboratory template to fabricate a master model, which is used to create the premanufactured implant-supported prosthesis.

To visualize this process, visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org for more information. Remember to, “See a specialist…The difference will make you smile”.



Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Many patients who are considering dental implants first need a tooth extracted before the implant is placed. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson – Prosthodontist with offices in Newton and Wellesley Massachusetts, “the dentists at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners are often able to both extract a tooth and place the implant during the same surgery”. Although it may seem like a lot to have done in one day, this option actually saves you time and money. Here’s why:

Money Savings

Often, bone grafting is needed at the extraction sites. But, if an implant can be placed on the day of your extraction, it eliminates the need to come back a second time to have an implant placed, and thereby eliminates the second-visit charge.

All in all, this amounts to a savings of over $400 to you.

Time Savings

After the extraction of a tooth, if bone grafting is done, a three-month healing period is necessary for the bone graft to heal and mature with your jawbone BEFORE an implant can be placed. After the implant placement, there are an additional 3 and a half months before the final restoration can be put in. However, if an implant is placed immediately, the first three-month healing period is completely eliminated. This means that your dentist can put in your final tooth three months sooner, restoring you to your normal state of mouth/aesthetic function.

Healing Savings

Put simply, why would anyone undergo another surgery if they don’t need to? Though dental implant surgery is minor on the scale of invasiveness (many liken its discomfort to that of getting one’s ears pierced), surgery is still surgery, and the body takes its time to recover. Immediate implant placement saves the body from having to heal itself from another surgery. In a nutshell, immediate implant placement cuts recovery and your total “down time” in half.

The Bottom Line

There are many cases that lend themselves to placement of an implant the same day as tooth removal. However there are additional concerns and in 33% of the cases, immediate placement is contra-indicated (due to bone configuration, infection, etc.). Only through proper diagnosis and treatment planning, can a well-informed decision be made.

Visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org for additional information and remember to, “See a specialist…The difference will make you smile”


Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bad Breath is a deal breaker. With such a focus on white teeth and a white smile, more and more people are also concerned or worried about bad breath. No one wants to be with someone who has it, and certainly no one wants it themselves. So how do you guard against bad breath?

The Common Causes of Bad Breath

If you suffer from chronic, severe bad breath, or halitosis, identifying the causes of it so you can determine an effective treatment is important.

The following are all causes of bad breath:

  • Tobacco use. If you smoke, quit. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee of bad breath. If you are ready to quit, ask your doctor or dentist for advice and support.
  • What you eat, or don't eat. Certain foods, such as garlic, contribute to bad breath, but only temporarily. Once they are absorbed into the bloodstream, the smell is expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food, so there’s no quick fix.
  • Dry mouth. If your mouth is extremely dry, there is not enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth.
  • Infections. Bad breath that seems to have no other cause may indicate an infection elsewhere in the body. If you have chronic bad breath and your dentist rules out any oral problems, see your doctor for an evaluation. Bad breath can be a sign of a range of conditions including respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems, so it's important not to ignore the problem.

The best way to improve bad breath is to follow a thorough oral care routine including twice-daily teeth brushing and daily flossing to remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Mouthwashes only improve bad breath for the short term. If you have a chronic problem, Dr Johnson at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners can help by deep cleaning your teeth and gums and he may suggest an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help keep bacteria at bay.

For more information, contact Dr. Johnson. And remember, “See a Specialist…the Difference will Make You Smile.“



Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 10, 2013

Everyone knows the importance of proper nutrition and a good diet when it comes to maintaining physical health. However, the same level of thinking can also help with our dental health, and having good nutritional and eating habits will contribute to healthy teeth and gums.

According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist with Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “A good, balanced diet can help to boost and maintain our body’s natural immune system; this can help to reduce the likelihood of developing oral complaints, while also helping to maintain healthy gums and strong teeth“.

What we eat and drink can have an effect our oral health. Sweets, for instance, can stick to our teeth and leave behind sticky deposits which if not removed can lead to tooth decay. As such, it is important to maintain a good dental health regime to remove sticky residues that may be left behind. Fizzy drinks, such as Pepsi cola, can erode tooth enamel, due to the acidic nature of the beverage.

It’s also important to eat regularly, as research has shown that dental health can be affected by how often a person eats. Regular snacking on sweet or starchy foods can increase the activity of bacteria in a person’s mouth; this leads to heightened levels of acid in the mouth, which can erode tooth enamel. The more frequently a person eats, the more bacteria is stimulated, and the more acid is produced. Saliva plays an important part in maintaining our dental health. Saliva can help to neutralize acid caused by eating, so rather than snacking consider combining foods into a larger meal. Saliva is a naturally occurring liquid in the mouth and can wash away food particles which may also be the target of bacteria, as well as helping to replenish teeth with essential nutrients to help withstand acid attacks.

Eating and drinking sensibly, adopting a good dental hygiene regime and making regular appointments with a dentist can all help to ensure that your smile remains healthy and strong, as well as remaining beautiful.

For more information, visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com and remember to, “See a specialist…The difference will make you smile.“

Excerpts – About.com


Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 03, 2013

Resolve to take care of yourself and your smile this New Year. If you have missing or crooked teeth or just an aging smile, it is time to take care of your mouth , your self esteem and your oral health. But don’t just take our word for it. See what others are saying about Newton Wellesley Dental Partners and about Dr. Johnson in particular. From seniors to radio personalities to actresses, some of their testimonials are below. To see more testimonials, visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org.

Don’t just see any dentist, see a prosthodontist with advanced training and expertise. Remember, “See a Specialist…The Difference will Make You Smile”.

Lou Merloni – Retired Red Sox player, Radio & TV Personality

“As a locally-born and raised, retired Red Sox player, I do many public appearances for the radio station, on TV and at philanthropic events. I entrusted Dr. Johnson to enrich my smile and couldn’t be happier with the results. Dr. Johnson’s work turned out great! I now know what the hands of an Ivy-League catcher can accomplish. His experience, passion and CAD/CAM expertise enable him to be at the top of his profession”.

Michael Andelman – Radio & TV Personality

“I put off seeing a dentist for over 8 years and had dental issues that required immediate attention. I called Dr. Johnson and he made arrangements to see me at 6:45 the next morning. After having the work done, I can tell you that I’ve never had better customer service in any industry…not anything close! It’s the best experience I’ve ever had”.

Dr. Dawn West – Dentist/Clinical Director at a local Dental School

“When it came time for my mother to address her “tired’ smile, i know more than most that she should see a specialist. As a dentist that serves as a clinical director at a local dental university who treats special needs patients, I recognized that skill set of Dr. Johnson was exactly what my mother needed. I knew of his clinical, teaching background and that he has lectured nationally. He has an outstanding reputation for world-class, dental aesthetics and his ceramist has the talent to create beautiful, yet natural results. The outcome is better than we expected and my mother and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you Dr. Johnson”.

Fr. Harvey Egan – Professor Emeritus at Boston College

“I saw Dr. Johnson for a tooth that had gone ballistic. After he took the time to explain all the available options, I followed his recommendations. I think very highly of him. The way he used his high-tech instrumentation and delicate “touch” indicated to me that he is highly skilled. I wish that I had discovered him sooner. Thanks for the excellent Treatment”.

For more information or to book your appointment, contact us at www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org


Joseph Coupal - Friday, December 28, 2012

As we enter the new year with so many good intentions, Dr. Ryne Johnson, Prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners suggests that you add one more resolution to your list … improved oral health! Dentists see firsthand the effects lack of regular dental care can have on the overall health and well-being of so many people. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout your life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.

Brush your teeth and gums. Floss. Improve your diet. Visit your dentist. These simple behaviors work! As Benjamin Franklin stated — “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Whether you are 8 or 80, your oral health is very important. If cared for properly, your teeth can last a lifetime. Losing your teeth is not inevitable, as it was for many in previous generations. However, your mouth changes as you age, so being vigilant throughout your lifetime and having regular dental check-ups to detect any early signs of dental disease is critical to maintaining a healthy mouth and healthy body. Some 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year, even though regular dental exams, combined with good oral hygiene, can prevent most dental diseases.

Today we know there are associations between oral health and overall health and that physicians are beginning to work more closely with dentists to monitor the health of their patients. Dentists are a critical part of a patient’s healthcare team, in that they are often the first ones to detect changes in a patient’s oral condition that can signify overall health problems. People with diabetes, for instance, have a greater chance of developing gum disease, at a rate three to four times higher than people without diabetes. And, untreated, gum disease can lead to a breakdown of gum tissue and bone that may eventually result in teeth becoming loose or falling out. The good news is that your dentist may detect early stages of gum disease during regular exams and treatments are available to help stop the progression.

Make a resolution today to adopt healthy oral care habits at home and seek regular dental care. You can help your teeth last a lifetime and have a smile you’ll be proud of. For more information, visit NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com and remember to, “See a specialist…the difference will make you smile”.

Austin Daily Herald


Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

“Implants for replacing lost teeth have come a long way since I began my dental practice in 1986”, according to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist with Newton Wellesley Dental Partners. “Better materials, computer diagnostic procedures, CAD/CAM technology and professional experience result in far fewer problems than occurred in the early years of implants”.

Critical to their success, however, is proper selection of both patients and practitioners — and, after the implant, a commitment to good oral hygiene. Dental implants must be treated like natural teeth: kept clean and free of plaque through proper brushing, flossing and periodic professional cleanings.

“Bridges are not the standard of care anymore,” For most people who lose teeth, implants are the treatment of choice” according to Dr. Johnson. “Implants do not decay, and adjacent healthy teeth do not require crowns to support them. And because it is easy to clean and floss between implants, the gum tissue and underlying bone are more likely to remain healthy”.

With a bridge, if one of the supporting crowned teeth breaks or develops decay or nerve damage, the bridge and its three or more crowns must be removed and replaced.

Implants can replace individual lost teeth or many teeth in a row. For those who have lost most of their teeth, implants can be used to anchor a full or partial denture. About half a million implants are placed each year in this country.

On average, the total cost of a dental implant to replace a single tooth is $5,000 to $7,000 (more if other procedures are required), or about one-third more than the cost of a bridge. But while bridges have an average life span of 10 years, an implant can last a lifetime.

Not a Quick Procedure

The basic technique involves surgically inserting a titanium screw — the implant — into the supporting bone, which can be done under local anesthesia in less than an hour, and attaching a small fake tooth called an abutment, followed by a crown. The resulting tooth looks and feels like a natural one.

Although there is an increasing trend toward ‘immediate loading” where computer design is implemented and dentistry is immediately placed on the, the conventional approach can be a lengthy one. Unlike a bridge, which can be completed in a few weeks, implants usually take about eight weeks for the screw to become firmly attached to bone before the final crown can be placed. “A patient’s health, not age, determines suitability for an implant,” Dr. Johnson reports. “I just did implants for a 88-year-old who needed them to support and ill-fitting denture. “If cases are chosen well, implants are very successful — 96 to 97 percent successful. And they rarely fail down the road.”

A most important element is having enough bone in the jaw to support the implant, although in some cases bone cells removed during drilling for the implant or taken from elsewhere in the

In some cases when a tooth must be pulled, an implant can be placed right after the extraction, with the advantage of limiting bone loss in the area. When bone is not being stimulated, it tends to break down. I consider myself lucky that although I’ve had this troublesome bridge for many decades, my underlying bone has remained healthy enough to support an implant.

Choosing a Doctor

Just as any physician can legally perform surgery, any dentist can legally do implants. Be sure to choose someone thoroughly trained in the technique. Taking a weekend course in implantology is rarely adequate. There are risks involved in placing implants, including damage to a nerve or sinus cavity, which are magnified when the practitioner lacks adequate training.

Dental Implants were once done mainly by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, most of whom operated independently of dentists. Now at least as many implants are placed by periodontists who are schooled in the technique and who coordinate their work closely with the patient’s dentist. Ideally, the periodontist should be board-certified.

Just as you might ask for referrals for a prospective attorney or financial planner, consider asking to speak with other patients of the practitioner before deciding to proceed with an implant. Though every case is different, at the least you can determine how well you are likely to be cared for.

For more information visit, www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org and remember to, “See a specialist…the difference will make you smile”.


Joseph Coupal - Friday, December 14, 2012

Today, dental technology provides better and safer paths oral health care. While many cosmetic dentistry procedures work very well, according to Dr. Ryne Johnson of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “porcelain veneers stand out to be one of the very best”. Dental veneers are fitted over the front of each tooth and are used to hide minor dental damages, yielding a perfect and natural appearing smile. However, the skills and experience of the cosmetic dentist (and laboratory technician) has a huge impact on the outcome and can be the difference between natural radiance and the appearance of mediocre dental work.

The benefits of porcelain veneers are many and they are highly recommended for people searching for a safe and successful smile makeover. Porcelain veneers are among the most wanted services at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners because they maintain the integrity of the underlying tooth, making them safer and more suitable to a natural looking and feeling smile.

Veneers are a thin shell of porcelain that is fitted to teeth to further enhance its shape and shade. They normally cover just the front area of the existing tooth. Veneers can be utilized to close spaces between teeth, extend small or deformed pieces, mask discolored or dark teeth. When teeth are fragmented or begin to wear, veneers can serve as a good protection from damage and later on refurbish their original appearance.

Cosmetic veneers are one of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry, as they are natural looking and can be permanently placed within two to three visits.

For more information on dental veneers, contact Dr. Johnson at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners or visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.org. Remember to, “See a specialist…the difference will make you smile”.

Virtual Strategy Magazine