Air abrasion is the use of compressed air mixed with a fine powder and works similar to a mini sand blaster spraying away dental decay.
Air abrasion technology was initially developed in the 1940s by Dr. Robert Black, specifically, for dental cavity preparation. Unfortunately, the restorative techniques and materials available at that time involved the use of silver amalgam, gold or acrylic. These restorative materials did not lend themselves to the type and form of cavity preparation generated by air abrasion. This factor, combined with the introduction of the high speed turbine hand piece in the 1950s and no high velocity suction, essentially pushed air abrasion out of the limelight until its resurgence in the early 1990s. While the use of air abrasion in dentistry was fading in the late 1950s, applications for this unique technology were being developed in other disciplines, primarily industrial in nature. Today, with the development and refinement of composite (white filling) materials combined with the public demand for more conservative treatment options, dentists who want to practice minimally invasive dentistry recognize air abrasion to be absolutely essential in attaining the best results.
HOW AIR ABRASION WORKS
During air abrasion, a fine stream of powder is aimed at the stained or decayed portion of the tooth. This powder is made of silica, aluminium oxide, or a baking soda mixture and are propelled toward the tooth surface by compressed air or a gas that runs through the dental hand piece. Small particles of decay on the tooth surface are removed as the stream of particles strikes them. The particles of decay are then “suctioned” away through a thin tube.
THE BENEFITS OF AIR ABRASION
- Removes decay without damage to healthy tooth structure.
- Fillings are small, invisible and sealed better than any other type of restoration.
- Fillings last longer than any other restoration in dentistry today.
- With Air Abrasion there is no heat, no smell, no vibration and no noise providing a more comfortable experience for you.
- Fillings have superior aesthetics, seal and longevity.