Tooth decay is a dental problem that can lead to serious issues, such as loss of teeth and even jawbone. Therefore, it is important to seek immediate help once you realize one or more of your teeth are decaying. However, the prospect of having your teeth drilled to remove the decay can be frightening. Fortunately, drilling is not the only solution that is available. At The Dentists at North Cypress, we offer air abrasion, a teeth decay solution that helps to get rid of decay without having to drill your teeth.
Air Abrasion is a teeth restoration procedure that treats decay without requiring drilling. The procedure uses small particles – made of aluminum oxide, silica, and baking powder—to remove the decaying parts of a tooth by “spraying them away.” To achieve this effect, the particles are thrust towards the surface of the teeth by compressed air. When the particles strike the decaying parts, they dislodge them, and those that remain are loose enough to be suctioned.
In addition to treating decay, air abrasion is used for other restorative dental procedures. For example, it is used to remove existing composite fillings or to prepare teeth for bonding procedures. It can also be used to treat discoloration and repair cracked, chipped, broken, or fractured teeth and crowns.
Air Abrasion is an alternative tooth decay treatment procedure that is ideal for people who are fearful of drilling, particularly the children. The procedure is also perfect if you are suffering from minimal decay—where drilling would be of no additional use.
Air Abrasion offers several advantages when treating tooth decay:
• It is a quick and easier procedure—Air Abrasion is a faster procedure compared to drilling as it is not invasive. Due to its simplicity, it is also prone to fewer risks.
• No drilling noise or pain—having your teeth drilled can be frightening for anyone, especially due to the noise and the vibration—which some people equate to pain. However, with air abrasion, there is no drilling, no noise, and no heat (due to drilling friction). The procedure is thus much more bearable. It might not even require the use of anesthesia or sedation.
• Less risk of damage to your teeth—drilling can cause further damage to your teeth through chipping and fractures. There is also the risk of drilling into and removing healthy tissues of the tooth. However, since air abrasion is not invasive, you do not have to worry about these risks.
• The procedure leaves the tooth dry—during an air abrasion procedure, there is no need to cleanse using a liquid—the debris is either dislodged from the teeth by the air or suctioned. Therefore, the teeth are left dry, which is a great advantage if additional procedures such as composite filling are required.
• It can be used to treat multiple teeth in a single appointment—drilling several teeth in a single session is not practical, and thus only a few teeth can be treated. However, with air abrasion, there are no invasive procedures, and thus several teeth can be treated in a single session.
There are also some drawbacks to using air abrasion. While air abrasion is a great procedure with several advantages, it does have some drawbacks. To start with, the pressure of the compressed particles being propelled directly to the surface of your teeth, combined with the chemical composition of the particles, can cause sensitivity. Also, the procedure cannot be used deep cavities that have spread to the pulp—it is only effective for decay on the surface of the teeth.
Are you nervous about having your teeth drilled? Well, worry no more. With air abrasion, you can have your teeth treated for decay in a faster, quieter, and painless procedure. Call us, The Dentists at North Cypress, at (281) 664-8100 to find out more about the air abrasion procedure.