If the sound of the dentist’s drill makes you want to cringe, schedule an appointment with your dentist for Air Abrasion. According to Web MD, Air Abrasion is a drill-less procedure used for tooth decay removal and other various applications.
Air Abrasion is a safe technique that actually sandblasts away the decay with an instrument that sprays fine particles directly on the tooth or teeth. The particles are made from aluminum oxide, silica or a baking soda mixture that is sprayed directly towards the tooth by gas or compressed air that goes through the hand piece that your dentist uses. The decayed particles are then suctioned through a small tube.
During the Air Abrasion, both you and your dentist will wear protective eyewear to prevent any irritation that may occur from the spray. Your dentist will also fit you with a rubber dam or sheet around your teeth. Your dentist may also use a protective resin on your gums and the surrounding teeth that are not being treated.
Compared with traditional dental drills, Air Abrasion generates no vibration, pressure, sound, or heat. Air Abrasion also leaves more of the healthy tooth behind and a dry working area. This is a huge advantage if your dentist is placing composite fillings. Air Abrasion also reduces the risk of tooth chipping or fracturing. The need for anesthesia is reduced during Air Abrasion, especially if the cavity being worked on is shallow. With Air Abrasion, your dentist can also work on several sites during one appointment.
According to your dentist, Air Abrasion is not entirely pain free. The particles and the air itself can cause sensitivity. Air Abrasion is best for smaller cavities as deeper cavities are too close to the pulp in the tooth. Composite filling material is the only type of filling material used with Air Abrasion as it adheres to the smooth surface of the tooth that is created by Air Abrasion. Silver and amalgam fillings require your dentist to drill cuts in the affected tooth in order to keep the filling in place.
Other procedures that your dentist may use Air Abrasion for include old composite restoration removal, sealant and bonding preparation, and to remove tooth discolorations and superficial stains.
If you would like more information regarding Air Abrasion, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.