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Air Abrasion


A girl in a dental chair smiling after Air Abrasion at Mid Valley Dental, in Menasha, WIDental drills are very common dental tools. With a drill, we can perform a variety of different tasks, including removing decay from cavities and preparing them for fillings. While a highly effective tool, dental drills often trigger fear from many dental patients. The sound of the drill can cause patients to become tense or unable to sit still. Some patients may avoid necessary treatments altogether to avoid the dental drill. At Mid Valley Dental, we can perform many tasks that typically require a dental drill with air abrasion.

What is Air Abrasion?


Air abrasion is a drill-less tool that is reminiscent of a tiny sandblaster, and can be used to perform many procedures that are typically performed using a dental drill. In order to do its job, the tool blasts out a fine stream of tiny particles of aluminum oxide.

Where a dental drill uses mechanical energy, air abrasion uses kinetic energy. This means that less friction is generated. Additionally, many procedures that would typically require a local anesthetic with a dental drill do not need any with air abrasion. For example, air abrasion can blast decay out of a cavity painlessly. As the air abrasion tool is used, a small suctioning tool is also used. This tool sucks up the aluminum oxide particles as well as any debris removed from your teeth.

What are the Benefits of Air Abrasion?


There are many benefits associated with air abrasion. These benefits include:
•  No heat, pressure, or vibration is generated.
•  A reduced need for anesthesia. Depending upon your situation, the need for anesthesia may be eliminated.
•  A reduced risk for causing chips or cracks in a tooth during treatment.
•  Preservation of more of your natural tooth structure.
•  Easy preparation of teeth for fillings, bonding, and sealants.
•  The ability to treat multiple areas of your mouth in a single appointment.
•  Brightening your smile. Air abrasion can aid in removing surface stains, which can help to whiten and brighten your smile.
•  Reduced anxiety. Because air abrasion is quieter and does not generate heat and friction, it can be ideal for patients who suffer from anxiety triggered by dental drills.

What is Air Abrasion Unable to Do?


While air abrasion can be used for many different purposes, there are some things that it is not capable of doing. Air abrasion cannot:
•  Remove softened tooth structure, meaning that it cannot be used to prepare larger, softer cavities.
•  Remove amalgam fillings.
•  Prepare teeth for larger restorations including indirect fillings, veneers, or crowns.

How Safe is Air Abrasion?


Air abrasion is both a very safe and very effective procedure. However, there are some things to keep in mind. Air abrasion can cause tooth sensitivity. It is also not an ideal treatment for those with dust allergies, asthma, or chronic pulmonary disease. It should not be used if you have an open wound in your mouth. Before your treatment, you are provided with special glasses to wear to keep particles from being blown into your eyes. We apply a resin to the gums and teeth around the treatment area to avoid irritation and other complications. We also use a small suctioning tool to pick up particles to prevent you from inhaling them during treatment.

Air abrasion enables us to perform many different procedures that typically require a dental drill, providing you with a drill-less alternative that is quieter, does not generate heat, and is very effective. For more information, and to find out if air abrasion is right for you, call Mid Valley Dental at (920) 215-4160 today.
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