Dental implants are a permanent replacement option for missing teeth that look and feel like natural teeth. They are also, however, the most invasive replacement option, and sometimes require supplementary procedures, including bone grafts.
Air abrasion is a new micro-dentistry technique that is used to treat tooth decay and prepare teeth for restorations.
Air abrasion is similar to sandblasting, in that tiny particles are propelled toward small areas of decay to remove them. A filling is then applied to seal the tooth from further harm.
The goal of air abrasion is to pinpoint and remove early areas of decay, while preserving more of the natural tooth.
The combination of air abrasion and composite resin fillings quickly and comfortably restores functionality and strength to the teeth.
Advantages of Air Abrasion:
- More of the natural tooth is left untouched.
- No need for anesthesia in most cases.
- No vibrations, horrible noises or excessive pressure.
- Quicker, easier procedures.
- Reduced risk of further damage to the teeth (chipping and fractures).
- Teeth are left dry, which is advantageous for filling placement.
Who can benefit from air abrasion?
The best candidates for air abrasion are patients who are fearful of the dental drill, children, and individuals with minimal dental decay.
Regular dental check ups help diagnose cavities which may be forming on the surfaces of the teeth.
Air abrasion can be used in instances other than tooth decay, including the removal of existing composite fillings, the preparation of teeth for sealants and the removal of surface stains on teeth.
What is involved with the air abrasion procedure?
First, rubber dams and cotton balls will be used to segregate the teeth and ensure the adjacent teeth are not affected. Jets of compressed air delivered through a dental hand-piece, provide enough force for the particles to remove the decay.
The dentist will use a special red chemical dye to ensure that all traces of decay are gone. An acid solution will then be applied to the affected areas to roughen the surface enough for the filling to be placed successfully.
The composite filling will be hardened using specialized lights, then polished to make it look completely natural.