Friday November 18, 2011
Air Abrasion… Patients love dentistry without the drill!
Air abrasion is a technique that has many applications in dentistry, and can often replace the need for a drill. Essentially, it’s like a mini-sandblaster that aims a very fine stream of particles on at a specific area of a tooth. The particles, which are usually made of silica, aluminum oxide or a baking soda mixture, are propelled by compressed air and are quickly suctioned away during the procedure.
How can air abrasion be used?
There are many applications for air abrasion, including:
- Removing decayed tooth material in preparation for a filling.
- Removing small old resin restorations that are in need of being redone.
- Preparing a tooth surface for bonding or sealants.
- Removing certain types of tooth stains and discolourations.
What are the advantages of air abrasion?
There are many benefits to utilizing air abrasion, which explains why I use it often in my practice. Air abrasion is...
- Very safe. Protective eyewear ensures that no spray gets into the patient’s eyes. A rubber dam – a small stretchable sheet or rubber that is used to isolate the tooth being treated – keeps the spray localized.
- Generates no heat, pressure or vibration, so as to not create any discomfort for the patient. Therefore, it is often not necessary to use anaesthetic during air abrasion procedures.
- Often allows multiple sites of the mouth to be worked on in one visit, as freezing is usually not necessary.
- A highly accurate and conservative procedure, allowing the dentist to leave as much healthy tooth tissue behind as possible.
- Is much less likely to lead to microfracturing or chipping teeth compared to standard drilling procedures.
- Is a relatively simple and quick procedure.
While air abrasion cannot always replace a drill, it can be used in many different dentistry applications and is especially appealing for use with children and nervous patients.
Steven Deskin is a Brantford Dentist in general practice.