Air Abrasion

Treating cavities and tooth decay without a drill!

How Does Air Abrasion Work?

Instead of using a drill to remove tooth decay or cavities, air abrasion uses instead a tool that works like a mini sandblaster. The instrument is designed to spray a fine stream of particles, made of silica, aluminum oxide, or a baking soda mixture, at the decay. These particles are compressed into a gas that is run through the handpiece. As the particles hit the tooth surface, they gently remove the small particles of decay on the tooth surface and the particles are suctioned away.

Is it Safe?

Yes, air abrasion is safe. As a safety precaution, protective eye wear must be worn to protect from stray particles. Also, a protective rubber dam may be used to protect your gums and nearby teeth from the spray.

What are the Advantages?

Compared to the traditional drilling method of treating tooth decay, air abrasion has many advantages.

  • Air abrasion generates no heat, no sound, no pressure, and no vibration.
  • Air abrasion reduces the need for anesthesia. If the cavity being treated is shallow, there may be no need for anesthesia at all!
  • Air abrasion preserves more of the healthy tooth structure than traditional drilling.
  • Air abrasion reduces the risk of fracturing or chipping the tooth.
  • Air abrasion is relatively simple and quick, making time in the dental chair faster!

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