When dealing with teeth requiring sealants or those with small cavities, we need a device which can remove tiny areas of debris and decay gently and selectively. That’s what Air Abrasion is all about. Air Abrasion works not by cutting, but by selectively scrubbing away soft areas of debris and rotten tooth structure while leaving hard healthy areas largely undisturbed. Air abrasion allows the filling to be as small as possible. This means air abrasion restorations will typically last longer and be less likely to wind up needing costly crowns and root canals.
Sealants got a bit of a bum rap for being somewhat ineffective in the past. The problem however, wasn’t with the sealant, but what was being sealed over. Without completely cleaing the deep fissures of debris and/or decay, sealing the tooth was a bit like putting a lid on a can full of garbage – it removes it from view, but doesn’t get rid of the garbage! Hiding the garbage can have disastrous consequences for a tooth, often allowing what could have been fixed with a sealant or a tiny filling to grow much larger and much more damaging problem when it is eventually discovered.
Dentists have solved this by routinely using air abrasion to clean the debris/decay from teeth before sealing. Since making this our standard practice, we have found sealants and air abrasion fillings to be highly effective and long lasting. Air abrasion is so gentle and conservative, it allows the dentist to be very cautious in his exploration of suspect areas. Often, teeth which are planned for sealants are found upon careful cleaning of thier fissures to be harboring hidden cavity. Additionally air abrasion often uncovers an area of unknown cavity adjacent to the known cavity in a different groove of the tooth. Both of this situations save the patient from a future problem and appointment and its associated charge.
Air Abrasion’s non-invasive, gentle nature allows many cavities to be fixed painlessly and without a shot! We use it for patients of all ages from 2 to 90 plus. And, once the decay is removed, we restore the tooth with a tooth-colored material that recreates your tooth’s original strength and beauty. Tooth repair so natural looking that only your dentist will know for sure.