Creekstone Dental

A dentist holds an air abrasion tool.

What is Air Abrasion?

Most people associate a visit to the dentist with the high-pitched whirring sound of a dentist’s drill. However, those days are a thing of the past! Air abrasion is a drill-less alternative technique that can be used in dental procedures to remove tooth decay, prepare a tooth for bonding or sealants, or remove tooth discoloration, among others.

Air abrasion is a great technique that can be used on children who have dental anxiety or a minimal amount of decay.


How Does Air Abrasion Work?


A tool that looks like a mini sandblaster uses gas or compressed air to spray particles made of silica, aluminum oxide, or baking soda which removes the decay, tooth enamel or composite resin, depending on the procedure. The waste particles that come off the tooth are then removed via a thin tube.


Is Air Abrasion Safe?


This technique is completely safe when the correct precautions are taken. Patients need to take precautionary measures, such as wear safety glasses to prevent any loose particles from causing eye irritation; and using of a rubber dam that fits around teeth to protect the areas of the mouth that aren’t being treated.

The removal of waste particles from the mouth also prevents them from being breathed into the lungs, making the technique an efficient and safe option for children.


The Advantages and Disadvantages of Air Abrasion

When compared to traditional drilling methods, air abrasion has the following advantages and disadvantages.

  • Generates no heat, pressure, or vibration
  • Reduces the need for anesthesia
  • Decreases the need for removal of healthy tooth tissue
  • Reduces the risk of fracturing or chipping the tooth during procedure preparation
  • Simple procedure
  • May take longer than normal drilling
  • The abrasive particles can cause tooth sensitivity
  • Air abrasion is not as powerful as a normal dentist’s drill and can only be used in specific cases/ procedures
  • Crowns, onlays, and inlays cannot be prepared using air abrasion

Creekstone Dental offers air abrasion as a technique to remove tooth decay and treat shallow cavities. For more information or to book an appointment at our Midvale office, contact us today!

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