Whether justified or not, the fear of the dentist drill is very real for many of us. The sound itself can instantly evoke images of the “Marathon Man” and make us tuck tail and run, even if we know that in this day and age the procedures can be made painless in many ways. This is where air abrasion comes in.
No Drill, No Fear
Air abrasion is a technique used by some dentists to remove decay without the use of a drill and to perform various other procedures.The dentist uses an instrument similar to a small sandblaster to spray a fine stream of particles at the diseased part of the tooth. As the particles blown by the compressed air hit the decay, parts of it are removed by tube suction.
Look at the Advantages
Besides the lack of the dreaded sound, there are a lot of other advantages from this technique. In most cases an anesthetic is not required and it also reduces the risk of additional damage to the tooth through chipping or fractures. It also protects the healthy tooth tissue, making sure it remains healthy longer.
The procedure is quite straightforward and while it can take longer than drilling, it leaves the tooth dry, which helps when filling the tooth. The disadvantages of air abrasions are few, and mostly concern the restrictions on its use, as it cannot usually be used for deep cavities or for the preparation of crowns, inlays, and onlays.
If your teeth are getting sensitive and you are afraid of the infamous dentist drill, air abrasion might be the ideal thing for you. Many dentists are offering the procedure, so make sure to ask next time you go in for a checkup.