The Drill-Free Alternative
Since air abrasion is achieved by directing a thin stream of abrasive powder at the area of tooth decay, your dentist removes only minimal sections of tooth -- only the decayed area.
Until now, all the dentist had to use was that noisy drill. But it was so big -- in comparison to our beam of powder -- that it removed a lot of healthy tooth structure.
Air abrasion allows for a very small cavity preparation and is part of what is called MicroDentistry. MicroDentistry is the philosophy and practice of finding and treating decay as early as possible, of removing as little tooth structure as possible, of making the smallest possible restorations (fillings) and of assuring that those restorations are aesthetically pleasing and long lasting. MicroDentistry is a broader term than air abrasion. Air abrasion is the part of the procedure that removes the decay and prepares the tooth for restoration.
Does Air Abrasion Hurt?
Almost never! By controlling the speed and the intensity of both the powder and the air, we can make the procedure virtually painless.
Since a shot is not necessary in most cases, you will not have numb or drooping lips after your dental procedure. The art and science of dentistry have changed, offering a no-needle, no-drill, no-fear procedure for removing decay.
Why is air abrasion better than the old drill?
The air abrasion device that we use instead of the drill is the KREATIV system. Its technology eliminates the odors, noise, vibration, micro cracks, and in most cases, the shot associated with the drill.
Is the finish attractive?
Definitely! It's going to look like a brand new tooth!
What other procedures is air abrasion good for?
Besides removing decay, air abrasion works well in these procedures:
- repairing chipped, fractured, or worn teeth
- preparing for cosmetic dentistry
- removing stains and spots
- repairing old fillings and sealants
- repairing broken crowns and bridges
More Questions Answered
If my dentist detects tooth decay, can it be treated immediately?
Immediately and minimally. Early detection means early treatment. We're talking about decay here, tooth rot! Why wait for it to spread, wait for the cavity to get bigger? Your dentist can take care of it today, giving you healthier teeth before you leave the office.
Once air abrasion removes decay, how is the cavity filled?
This is the beautiful part -- literally! We will fill that cavity with a nearly invisible, non-mercury filling, making the entire tooth strong, long-lasting, and resistant to decay.
What should I know about early detection and treatment?
At the slightest hint of tooth decay, we will put a "caries detection dye" on the suspicious tooth. This colored liquid helps identify the position and extent of decay -- even that decay not visible to the naked eye. We can then take care of the problem -- usually in less than 10 minutes.