InCity Dental Rotorua

Air Abrasion Dentistry

A Gentle Alternative to a Needle and a Drill

Over the past several years, widespread use of fluoride has made the outer enamel of the tooth more decay resistant. Unfortunately small nooks and crannies on the chewing surface are still susceptible to decay. They are often smaller than a single toothbrush bristle, making it difficult to completely clean the tooth. When decay reaches the softer dentin it frequently blooms into a large cavity. By the time this decay is detected it is deep within the tooth and has the potential to cause damage to the nerve.

Air Abrasion Dentistry is a conservative, less traumatic alternative to the high-speed drill. It allows your dentist to selectively remove decay, leaving healthier tooth structure. The procedure can often be done without anaesthesia. Without this needing to be done you will have fewer visits because we can often do more than one cavity restoration at a time. Air abrasion can help us find hidden decay. The very fine and narrow abrasive stream can remove just the stain and debris in the fissures of your teeth. Once these areas are clean, a special cavity-detecting dye will be applied to show if there is any decay which is actively destroying tooth structure. We can use air abrasion to remove this decay but depending on how big it is a small slow-speed bur will be used as well.

The History of Air Abrasion

Air Abrasion technology was introduced in the 1950's as an alternative to a traditional drill cavity preparation. Although extremely popular with patients, its use faded due to lack of suitable bonding materials. Today's technology has made it possible for your teeth to be less traumatized with air abrasion and be filled with excellent, strong restorative materials. From dinosaurs to dentistry, air abrasion is being used all over the world in many industries and in hundreds of ways. Semiconductor manufacturers use it to help make micro-chips. Medical companies use it to sharpen hypodermic needles and for marking pacemakers. The aerospace industry uses it to repair electronic circuit boards on airplanes, spaceships and satellites. Museums use it for the restoration of priceless artifacts and prehistoric fossils.