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An option for removing tooth decay, Air abrasion uses a process that “sandblasts” the tooth to rapidly remove tooth decay and enamel. It uses a pressurized stream of a very fine, non-toxic abrasive powder to remove the decay.
Compared to the traditional dental drill, air abrasion’s advantages include reductions in noise, vibration, heat, and sensitivity. For many patients, the procedure requires little or no anesthesia.
Air abrasion is particularly useful for the detection of early decay in tooth grooves, small cavities where tooth preparation is minimal, patients of all ages who dislike the dental drill or the noise it produces, and patients who cannot have local anesthesia.
Although air abrasion cannot always substitute for the dental drill, it can be an effective device. Because of the way the tooth is prepared by air abrasion, only a tooth-colored, composite resin can be used. The dental drill may still be required to complete the preparation of some teeth.