For those who hate the dentist’s drill there is an alternative, and that is the use of air abrasion drill-less dentistry.
The air abrasion procedure can be used;
- to remove tooth decay
- in preparation for a filling
- in endodontic procedures
Although the procedure may appear to be a ‘new dentist technology’, the use of air abrasion has been around for a long time. However, it is only in the last decade that dental clinics have routinely adopted its use.
In recent times air abrasion in dentistry is becoming more popular, and it is possibly set to become the favored option in the future.
Soon the traditional dentist drill could be replaced by dental abrasion equipment, in most dental clinics.
What Is Drill-Less Dentistry
Perhaps the easiest way to describe the drill-less abrasion procedure, is to compare it to the process of sandblasting.
A dental instrument uses air to blow tiny particles against the area of the tooth which is being treated. These particles remove the areas of tooth decay, and at the same time the debris is sucked away via a thin tube.
Through the use of air abrasion dentistry patients who have a fear of the dentist do not experience the anxiety they usually feel when they hear the old fashioned conventional drill noise.
The Pros And Cons Of Drill-Less Dentistry
It may seem that there could be only advantages to using air abrasion technology, but as with any technology there are both advantages and disadvantages.
The most obvious advantage of no drill dentistry is the fact that there is no drilling involved. Therefore, there will be none of the accompanying negative attributes. That is to say, there will be no drill vibration, no drill sound, no drill generated heat, and no burning smell.
Some dental treatment which would normally require anesthetic for drilling, may not require anesthetic for drilless dental treatment.
Where cavities are small, treatment may often be carried out via air abrasion alone, followed by a small filling.
Where there are severely damaged teeth, there should be less chance of further damage being done when drill-less dental treatment is carried out.
So, the main advantages are;
- less risk of damage to teeth
- reduced need for anesthetic
- no ‘traditional dentist’s drill’ associated issues
Although drill-less dentistry is said to be less painful both physically and emotionally, dental air abrasion is not guaranteed to be pain free.
Those people with sensitive teeth may find that the blast of air used in the treatment causes temporary pain to any damaged teeth.
The thought of drill less fillings probably seems worth the possibility of a small amount of pain. However, it also seems that air abrasion creates a smoother surface than that left by a traditional dental drill. Therefore the process works better when composite materials are used, rather than amalgam fillings, as amalgam is said to adhere better to a rougher surface.
As a result, the process is generally recommended for small cavities and minimum tooth decay.
Microabrasion Technique Dentistry
There is often confusion between air abrasion to treat tooth decay and the micro abrasion technique.
There is a cosmetic dental procedure which removes teeth stains by gently rubbing away a thin layer of tooth enamel.
The most common use is during an aesthetic dental smile makeover.
Hydrochloric acid and pumice is rubbed onto the surface of the tooth until the enamel begins to be worn away.
The same process may be used to prepare the surface of the tooth for dental veneers, etc.
Air abrasion dentistry uses a miniature dental sandblaster to blast air and tiny particles against the tooth, removing the designated areas, whereas, micro abrasion dentistry, uses special chemicals and pumice to rub away the designated areas.
It’s easy to get confused with all the technical terms, indeed some dental literature can even confuse one process with the other.
Make sure that if you are considering drilless dental treatment you confirm you are getting ‘air abrasion’ rather than ‘micro abrasion’.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of this dental procedure can allow you to make a balanced decision as to whether drill-less dentistry is the route you want to take.