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Air Abrasion

Air abrasion is a new micro-dentistry technique that is used to 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.

An anesthetic is not always required for this procedure, which means the dentist can treat multiple teeth in a single appointment.  The combination of air abrasion and composite resin fillings quickly and comfortably restores functionality and strength to the teeth.  Air abrasion is used commonly with cosmetic bonding

Here are some of the main advantages associated with air abrasion:

  • More of the natural tooth is left untouched.
  • No need for anesthesia in some cases.
  • Increased filling retention
  • Reduced risk of further damage to the teeth (chipping and fractures).

Who can benefit from air abrasion?

As with many dental procedures, air abrasion is not necessarily suitable for every person or tooth. 

Air abrasion can be used in instances other than tooth decay, including the preparation of teeth for sealants and the removal of surface stains on teeth.  Amalgam and silver fillings cannot be used in conjunction with air abrasion because the procedure leaves the teeth too smooth for metal fillings to properly adhere.  Therefore, only composite fillings can be applied following air abrasion.

What is involved with the air abrasion procedure?

Initially, Dr. Griffon will thoroughly examine the teeth and assess whether the air abrasion technique is going to be the most effective option.  Once this has been decided, the procedure can be scheduled.

First, rubber dams and cotton balls will be used to segregate the teeth and ensure the adjacent teeth are not affected.  Under specialized lighting and magnification, the teeth will be sprayed with particles including aluminum oxide and silica.  Jets of compressed air, delivered through a dental hand-piece, provide enough force for the particles to remove the decay.  The waste will be eliminated from the mouth with a suction device.

Dr. Griffon will then place your restoration on your tooth.

If you have questions about the air abrasion process, please contact our office.