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.