For many people, their fear of the dentist begins and ends with the drill. Even though a drill in the hands of a highly-trained dentist is nothing to be worried about, our patients are very pleased that our Bedford dental practice uses air abrasion. If you struggle with the sight and sound of a dental drill, or if anesthesia and needles cause discomfort, then drill-free air abrasion dentistry might be perfect for you.
Air abrasion is a drill-free technique used to remove tooth decay, prepare teeth for bonding, and a few other procedures. It’s a great method to utilize for young children or those that struggle with dental anxiety.
How Does Air Abrasion Work?
Air abrasion uses an instrument that works like a miniature sandblaster to spray away tooth decay. Compressed air shoots tiny particles of silica or aluminum oxide at the stained or decayed portion of the tooth, stripping them away from healthy portions of the tooth. The particles and debris are then suctioned away through a small vacuum tube.
Air abrasion is a conservative yet very efficient method to prepare teeth for fillings, which is why our team loves it. Our patients love it because it is quiet and fast. Patients experience virtually no vibrations, noise, pressure, or heat like they would with a traditional drill. In fact, it’s gentle enough that local anesthetics often aren’t needed.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Is Air Abrasion Safe?
In a word: Yes. The procedure is non-invasive. The only precautions needed before air abrasion procedures are the use of a rubber dam to shield areas of the mouth that aren’t being treated and protective eyewear to prevent irritation from the spray.
Advantages of Air Abrasion Dentistry
- 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.
- Allows treatment of multiple teeth in one visit.
Are There Disadvantages?
- Air abrasion can’t replace a drill in every circumstance. Deep cavities or cavities between teeth may not be suitable for this technique.
- Likewise, crowns, inlays, and onlays cannot be prepared with air abrasion.
- If hard enamel needs to be removed to access decay in a tooth, traditional methods may need to be used first.
Drill-free dentistry can go a long way in easing the anxiety that’s kept you from the dental treatment your teeth need. The longer you allow the decay on your teeth to linger, the more damage will be done. Instead of letting tooth decay cause more damage, we can use this state-of-the-art procedure to easily remove the decay on your teeth and improve your smile.
At Marea White DDS, you will get the comprehensive dental care you need to keep your teeth in great shape. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today to schedule a consultation to find out if you are a candidate for air abrasion dentistry.
~Dr. Marea White