What is the Process Like for Air Abrasion?
The tool we use for air abrasion utilizes pressure and tiny particles of aluminum oxide, baking soda mixture, or silica to blast away tooth decay much like a sandblaster or pressure washer. With compressed air, a steady stream of the particles is sprayed at the affected areas on the tooth while the excess and decay is suctioned away with a thin tube.
The process is best for early signs of tooth decay. However, if there is hard enamel that needs to be removed in order to reach the extent of the tooth decay, this cannot be done with air abrasion alone. To access deeper decay, a traditional drill may be used. Once the decay has been reached and removed with a traditional drill, air abrasion can then be used to clean the rest of the tooth.
What is the Recovery Like for Air Abrasion?
Similar to a typical tooth cleaning, the air abrasion procedure can be done in under 30 minutes, and requires no additional recovery time, especially since anesthesia is only needed for deep cavities.
Dentists favor air abrasion for the reduced healing time, accuracy, and because it leaves behind more healthy tooth tissue. After the procedure patients may experience a gritty feeling in their mouth that can be fixed by rinsing for only a few minutes.