Air Abrasion for painless Dental Care in San Francisco
One of the most common aspects of dental care is anxiety. Many people are so afraid of the pain associated with dental treatment that they avoid care that will lead them to better oral health. Regular visits to the dentist are the best way to prevent invasive and costly treatments and to catch decay early enough for conservative care. When fillings are needed, there’s a technology, air abrasion, that eases the discomfort and apprehension that typically accompany this procedure.
A filling is necessary when a tooth has decay. The first step in restoring such a tooth is to remove the decay. Normally the dentist uses a drill to grind away damaged portions of the tooth. This requires local anesthetic and your tolerance for the noise and the feeling of the drill. With air abrasion technology, there is no need for numbing most of the time because there is no drilling and none of the associated unpleasant noise.
Air abrasion technology was actually first used for dental care in the 1940s. However, because silver mercury fillings are not suitable with this preparation method, it disappeared from dentistry for some time and re-emerged in the 1990s when tooth-colored composite filling materials became available.
Air abrasion works with a small, usually air powered, hand-held device. The dentist uses this tool to aim a stream of tiny particles precisely at the decayed portion of a tooth. As these particles hit the tooth’s surface, decay is painlessly loosened and sprayed away. You might think of air abrasion as a gentle mini sandblaster. As the decay is removed from the tooth’s surface, it and the tiny particles from the air abrasion device are suctioned off.
The benefits of air abrasion include:
- Higher degree of comfort, allowing for more treatment in a single visit
- Little or no need for anesthesia
- More healthy tooth structure left intact
- Lower risk of chipping tooth enamel during a procedure
Speak with Dr. Leo Arellano today to find out how air abrasion may be just what you need to ease your dental anxieties.