Rockford Dentist - The Teeth People
Dentistry Without The Drill
Many people associate the high-pitched whirring of a dental drill with pain. Just the sound alone can make many people wince.
Air abrasion is a drill-less technique that is being used by some dentists to remove early, small areas of tooth decay and to perform other procedures.
How Does Air Abrasion Work?
During air abrasion, an instrument that works like a mini sandblaster is used to spray away decay. During air abrasion, a fine stream of particles is aimed at the stained or decayed portion of the tooth.
These particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide, or a baking sodamixture and are propelled toward the tooth surface by compressed air or a gas that runs through the dental handpiece. Small particles of decay on the tooth surface are removed as the stream of particles strikes them. The particles of decay are then "suctioned" away through a thin tube.
What Are the Advantages of Air Abrasion?
Compared with the traditional drilling method, the advantages of air abrasion are many and include the following:
Air abrasion generates no heat, pressure, or vibration.
Air abrasion sometimes reduces the need for anesthesia, particularly if the cavity is shallow.
Air abrasion leaves more of the healthy tooth tissue behind.
Air abrasion reduces the risk of fracturing and chipping of the tooth, which some dentists believe can affect the life span of the filling.
The procedure is relatively simple, although it may take longer than traditional drilling.
Tiny cracks and imperfections on a tooth can be fixed using air abrasion. Although air abrasion is not suitable for work on crowns and bridges, it is often used for bonding procedures, and on tooth restorations involving composite, or tooth-colored fillings.