Can we let you in on a little secret today? We know deep down that coming to see us is not exactly your favorite thing in the entire world, and we have a sneaking suspicion on why that may be. Being told that you have tooth decay that needs to be first drilled, then filled, can be a scary discovery. Even we do not like the word dental drill and prefer to call it our handpiece instead! We understand that dental drills can be both noisy and unpleasant to our patients, which is why we here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry are pleased to offer a new dental technology known as air abrasion that allows us to treat a wide array of dental problems without needing to reach for our handpiece at all.
What is Air Abrasion and How Does it Work?
When you think of a dental drill, what comes to mind? It is probably not good things, unfortunately. The fact is, a traditional dental handpiece is an admittedly loud and seemingly harsh device. It works by boring a hole into an affected tooth, whether it has tooth decay or is being prepped for a root canal. It can be quite noisy, and often requires the use of local anesthetic before we can use it. It even gives off an unpleasant smell as it works on your tooth, making many of our patients hesitate when we introduce them to it.
That is why we are thrilled to offer you a new alternative to our office. Instead, we are happy to reach for our air abrasion device to perform mild dental work on you. Our air abrasion device is a fantastic little tool that allows us to treat tooth decay or prepare your tooth for another procedure such as a restoration, bonding, or dental sealants.
Air abrasion works not unlike a sandblaster, with which you may already be familiar. Using a combination of safe and common ingredients - which include baking soda, silica particles, and aluminum oxide – we can gently abrade the surface of your tooth for dental treatment.
Unlike a handpiece, which does require local anesthetic (typically lidocaine), we are often able to skip anesthetic when we use air abrasion. Yes, it is that gentle. It is also remarkably quiet, which means you will have to listen to the high-pitched whine of a traditional dental handpiece coming from your mouth as we work. It is also quite fast to use, which can save you time and reduce the time you have to keep your mouth open during your treatment.
Air abrasion is also much gentler than a handpiece, which means we can save more of your tooth and your filling or restoration may last longer than had we prepared it with a handpiece.
Using air abrasion is incredibly safe and easy. We will first prep any surrounding teeth with a resin or a dental dam to avoid accidentally spraying them with any of the materials that come out of our air abrasion machine. We will also provide you with continuous suction for both your comfort and to prevent you from accidentally inhaling any of the particulates. When we use air abrasion, our patients are much happier and therefore, so are we!
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If you are interested in learning more about how we use air abrasion here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry, or you are ready to set up your appointment with us, please give us a call at (281) 942-0444 today!