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Air Abrasion Dentistry

Having anxiety over visiting the dentist is nothing new. It is extremely common for people to get worried at the thought of having dental work done. So much so that there is a whole industry that focuses solely on coming up with new technologies to help make the experience of going to the dentist more palatable. Air abrasion is a great new technology that treats dental cavities. We at Dougherty Dental have found this procedure helps many of our patients ease into the chair.

What is air abrasion dentistry?

Air Abrasion Dentistry is as gentle as a breeze compared to drillingEveryone is familiar with the dental drill. For many it is the point of highest concern, “Don’t bring that drill near my mouth!” Air abrasion offers us an alternative to drilling teeth by using the same concept as a sand blaster.

Instead of using sand we use a mixture of particles comprised of silica, baking soda, and aluminum oxide. This mixture is sprayed onto the area of the tooth where decay is present with compressed air or gas. The hand piece looks similar to other such dental tools, being roughly the shape and size of a large toothbrush.

While we are spraying your teeth with all these particles we are simultaneously using a suction tube to capture them and draw them out of your mouth, much the way we do with excess water.

Is it safe?

We would never use a dental technology that we didn’t think was completely safe. We fit you with a pair of glasses to keep any stray particulate matter from irritating your eyes. We also fit a rubber dental dam around the tooth/teeth that we will be working on. The rubber dam prevents the particulate matter from being breathed in, or affecting other teeth.

What are the advantages to air abrasion dentistry?

The biggest advantage air abrasion has going for it is that it is not a drill. Air abrasion offers patients an alternative to what they sometimes consider a scary tool of our trade. Air abrasion also offers a wide ranges of advantages over traditional drills on top of not being scary.

With this procedure we are often able to avoid the need for anesthesia due to the lack of vibration. Drills have a tendency to heat up teeth and cause a lot of vibrations in the jaw which are the reasons we typically have to use anesthesia when using a drill. Because of the way air abrasion works, teeth don’t heat up and they vibrate very little.

We are also able to be quite a bit more precise when using this method. Higher precision means taking less of the tooth, which means smaller fillings.

Finally, air abrasion is just as easy as drilling to setup and accomplish. The time it takes us to finish the procedure isn’t inflated at all, meaning you get to head home at about the same time you would if we were to use a drill.

If you have any questions about air abrasion, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for yourself today, please give us a call at (503) 221-1973.

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Dougherty Dental | | (503) 221-1973
1809 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209
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