Nonsurgical Treatment of Gum Disease – Alhambra, CA

Posted November 14th, 2011 by Dr. Chao and filed in Gum Disease

We use procedures like laser-assisted scaling and root planing in cases of gum disease and our technique has been quite effective. The scaling will help remove the tartar which has built up between the gum and the teeth and thus will remove the destructive bacteria that accompanies this.

In addition to this, we also use anti-bacterial home therapy coordinated with an intense, in-office program of infection control to address severe or hopeless cases. Most importantly, our success has been built upon our relationship with our patients. Our patients with severe, hopeless gum disease are informed of their critical role in infection control. We consistently teach our patients on various new ways to clean and remove infection from their teeth and gums with special FDA devices. We especially emphasize the need for regular follow-up treatment that is indispensable to a successful outcome. We are grateful for so many diligent, compliant patients with severe, hopeless gum diseases who have been able to save their teeth for the long-term without surgical intervention.

Avoid Over-brusing Your Teeth – Alhambra, CA

Posted November 14th, 2011 by Dr. Chao and filed in Gum Recession, Healthy Gums, Over-brushing

Over-brushing your teeth can occur with overly vigorous brushing, as you know.  However what is not well-known is that gum recession can also occur by using a hard toothbrush, abrasive toothpaste or not being careful with the electric tooth brush.  If you already have gum recession, use a softer tooth brush with non-abrasive toothpaste.  Before you have the opportunity to consult with a professional, you may use the “roll technique”, which calls for gently rolling the tooth brush from the gum to the teeth.  Don’t use the electric tooth brush as if you are brushing with a hand-held tooth brush.  You may be double brushing your teeth and gum and thereby cause “electric toothbrush abrasion.”  Hold the electric tooth brush gently against the surface you desire to clean.  Use the lightest pressure possible on the handle.  Don’t move the brush up and down or back and forth.  Slowly and gently move the electric toothbrush from place to place.  The electric tooth brush is already cleaning your teeth.  Putting more pressure on the handle will only produce damage to the roots and the gums.   Doubling the “pressure” does not double the fun!

Special Care Dentistry – Alhambra, CA

Patients who have autism or experience some other behavioral disorder like ADD or special needs patients that require dental care be delivered in ways that suit their unique circumstances.  On the other hand faithful long-standing patients are aging, taking more medications and faced with uncertain medical futures. People with disabilities are living longer lives and expect access to the same quality of care that their able bodied friends enjoy.  To continue to enjoy their trust and faith it is necessary that a dental practice have the knowledge, skill, and equipment to accommodate treatment of special needs patients.

Patients with special needs have always been welcome at Dr. Chao’s office and it is by no happenstance, treating special patients is part of our daily practice and life. These are patients with systemic diseases, issues of aging, multiple medications, behavioral issues and many other special needs related unusual circumstances. Treating patients with special needs continues to be a substantial part of our practice.

Wheelchair-bound patients are also another category of patients who need special consideration.  Up to now it has been nearly impossible to render treatment without moving the patient out of the wheelchair and into the dental chair. Dr. Chao has been vexed by the problem of having to transfer the patient from the wheelchair to the dental chair for dental treatment and again transfer the patient back to the wheelchair when work is completed.

Our facility has been able to dedicate one operatory to the treatment of special needs patients.  In this room we have installed a Versatilt. With the Versatilt, we can roll the wheelchair onto this special dental chair and then tilt the Versatilt back so that we can examine and treat the patient.  When we’re done, we tilt the chair upright and roll the wheelchair off.

For more information, please visit our Special Care Dentistry page.

Endodontic Treatment – Alhambra, CA

Posted October 23rd, 2011 by Dr. Chao and filed in Endodontics

What is endodontic treatment?
The word “endodontic” comes from two Greek words: Endo and odont.   Endo means “inside,” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.”  Hence endodontic treatment are procedures that treat the inside of the tooth. What does the “inside” of a tooth consist of?  Inside the tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.  It is surrounded by a hard layer called dentin.  Overlying the dentin is the white enamel, which forms the crown of the tooth. The crown is supported by the root(s). The pulp fills the canals inside the roots of the tooth and emerges at the tips of the roots. There the pulp connects with the tissue surrounding the root.

Endodontics is the field of dentistry that deals with diagnosis and treatment of the dental pulp.

What are the symptoms or warning signs that endodontic treatment may be needed?
Symptoms or early warning signs include intermittent low grade pain; chronic sensitivity to cold and especially to hot; pain or tenderness to biting; food trapping in and around the tooth; discoloration of a front tooth, especially weeks or months after an accident; gum swelling or gum “pimple” that drains; swelling or tenderness in lymph nodes under the lower jaw; and facial swelling. Very often there may be no symptoms.

For more information, please visit our Endodontics page.

Sedation Dentistry – Alhambra, CA

Posted October 23rd, 2011 by Dr. Chao and filed in Sedation Dentistry

According to the American Dental Association, over 40 million people don’t visit the dentist due to fear of treatment. Fortunately, there is a safe and effective treatment option available to help people with this fear.  There are a few different levels of sedation that we can provide. We will work with you to find the best option suitable for you.

Oral Conscious Sedation

This is an easier and more popular choice of sedation. Although sedated and deeply relaxed, the patient is awake during the entire appointment. In most cases only one or two appointments are necessary to have all their dental care completed. After treatment is finished, the patient is required to be escorted back home.

Oral pre-medication is used before and sometimes during the appointment. It is a safe and affordable means of relieving high anxiety in patients who prefer an effortless and comfortable way of having all their treatment done in a few appointments. This technique generally calls for the patient to take a pill the evening before the appointment. In the morning the patient is escorted to the office by someone else and is given another pill before the start of the procedure. Sometimes we also use nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) to augment and control the depth of sedation for you.

Intravenous (I.V.) sedation

When a patient suffers from moderate or severe anxieties and prefers a deeper form of sedation, intravenous (I.V.) sedation may be used. The patient is placed in a deeper sedated state through the intravenous route, but is conscious enough to respond to verbal instructions. Partial or complete amnesia is also common. Special training and certification is required for the administration of intravenous sedation and Dr. Chao is certified as a dental anesthesiologist.

For more information, please visit our website.

Keep Your Gums Healthy – Alhambra CA

Posted October 11th, 2011 by Dr. Chao and filed in Healthy Gums

Keeping your gums in a healthy state is a lot more important than you may think. In addition to brushing and flossing, a healthy diet can also help you  maintain healthy gums.

By eating properly, you are providing vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for your gums and teeth, which can help keep your gums and teeth healthy. Not everyone knows this, but Fluoride is found naturally in some foods, so by consuming them, you are effortlessly helping contribute to tooth decay prevention. Fluoride, also found in your water supply (in most areas), can help reduce cavities by up 60%.

While we are on the topic of food, it is important to point out that certain foods can be very detrimental to the health of your gums and teeth. Particularly, foods high in sucrose (also known as granulated sugar). Although very tasty, it is the leading cause of tooth decay.

“But Dr. Chao, I avoid junk food and eat lots of fruit. Is that good?” Yes, that is great! Although fresh fruit can be relatively sweet and acidic, the saliva produced when chewing the fruit help rinse away anything left in the mouth and reduces the acidity in the mouth. Apples are especially great because they promote gum stimulation, increase saliva flow, and help reduce the build up of cavity-causing bacteria. Hence the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. But be aware of dried fruits. Eating them can actually negatively affect the health of your gums and teeth. This is because they are not only high in sugar, but stick to your teeth.

For more information, please call or visit us. For contact information, please visit our Contact Page.