Scared Of The Drill? Try Air Abrasion For Your Next Filling

Posted on: 27 January 2015

If the sound, smell, and feel of a dental drill on your tooth is enough to make your cringe and skip your dentist appointment, you might want to talk to your dentist about air abrasion. This is a newer technique available at many dental clinics, and it is considered the drill-less way to fix a cavity:

What is air abrasion?

When a cavity is removed, a dentist traditionally uses a drill to remove the decay. After this is complete, the hole is filled with a composite material and the problem is fixed. Through air abrasion, the same philosophy exists, except that the procedure is handled with different equipment.

The equipment used is called an air abrasion instrument, and it resembles a small sandblaster. The dentist aims the instrument at the decay on a tooth and it instantly begins blowing particles of baking soda or aluminum oxide at the decay. These small particles, along with the pressured air stream, cause the decay to break apart and come loose.

The other instrument used during this is a small suction device. The dentist places this in your mouth during the procedure, and the duty of the suction device is to pull out the shavings of the decayed tooth.

What are the benefits?

Air abrasion offers a host of benefits and is ideal for people with dental phobias or fears. One key benefit of this is that it eliminates the sound, smell, and feel of the drill. If the dental drill is the scariest thought you have of getting a filling, you would be the perfect candidate to try air abrasion for cavity removal.

There are a few benefits of air abrasion:

  • Less anesthesia – Some people are able to have this procedure completed without any anesthesia at all, while others may need a small amount.
  • More precise – Using an air abrasion tool makes it easier for a dentist to target the decay only. This may leave more of the healthy part of the tooth unharmed, which is always the goal of general dentistry work.
  • Decreased risks – When air abrasion is used instead of a drill, there is a decrease in the risks that other teeth will get harmed during the process.

If you have been putting off your dentist appointment because you are nervous about the drill, look for a dental clinic that offers air abrasion. After trying this, you may agree that it is a much better method for cavity removal.