There are nearly 200,000 dentists in the U.S. Less than 2% are prosthodontists.
A prosthodontist is trained in the complex specialization of restoring and replacing missing or damaged teeth. They develop prosthetic solutions to improve patients’ health and quality of life.
In Arkansas, there are fewer than 10. Of the two who are board certified, Andrew Johnson is the only one who practices in Northwest Arkansas.
“I enjoy giving people back their ability to live normal lives,” Johnson said. “It might not sound like dentistry is capable of such things, but many of our patients are hugely dentally debilitated. They haven’t been able to chew or smile or speak correctly or efficiently in decades.”
Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 2005, completed dental school in Memphis five years later at the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, then completed three additional years of dental training to become a prosthodontist.
Johnson became familiar with the field growing up in Hot Springs because his father was a pediatric dentist. He latched onto the prosthetic dentistry niche during his training in Memphis.
“I really enjoyed the creation aspect of dentistry,” he said. “I think every dentist is an artist in some way shape or form.”
When his dental training was complete, Johnson moved his family to Northwest Arkansas in 2013 and built his practice working for a general dentistry clinic in Fayetteville before joining Integrative Dental Specialists, which opened last fall.
He is one of the youngest appointees of the adjunct teaching program at UT College of Dentistry, and he has represented Arkansas as a presenter at the International Academy of Gnathology and the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry — both respected professional organizations with global recognition.