Air Abrasion

Green Dental & Orthodontics Offers Air Abrasion

Abrasion is a technique used by dentists to remove decay and prepare teeth for fillings. The traditional method was a noisy, heat-generating, and invasive dental drill. Recently, air abrasion has emerged as an alternative that’s noiseless, heatless, and minimally invasive.

Air abrasion is similar to sandblasting, in that tiny particles are propelled toward small areas of decay and the decay is removed. The tooth is then sealed with a filling.

The dentist can treat multiple teeth in a single appointment because Air Abrasion doesn’t require anesthesia.

The goal of air abrasion is to pinpoint, remove, and fill in those areas where early decay begins. The advantages of this method are that it can be done quickly, and there’s less discomfort. Air abrasion, when combined with composite resin fillings, restores teeth to their natural strength and functionality.


Here are some of the main advantages associated with air abrasion:
  • The majority of a natural tooth is left untouched.
  • There is no need for anesthesia in most cases.
  • The process is not noisy and doesn’t produce any vibrations, horrible noises, or excessive pressure.
  • The procedure is quicker & easier.
  • Reduced risk of further damage to the teeth (chipping and fractures).
  • Teeth are left dry, which is advantageous for filling placement.
Who can benefit from air abrasion?

Air abrasion is not the best choice for many dental patients and procedures. The best candidates for air abrasion are those who are fearful of the dental drill, children and individuals with minimal dental decay.

Regular dental checkups help diagnose cavities that may be forming on the surfaces of the teeth. Spotting cavities early increases the chances that the air abrasion treatment can be utilized.

Air abrasion can be used for a wide range of procedures other than tooth decay, including the removal of existing composite fillings, the preparation of teeth for sealants, and the removal of surface stains on teeth.

Many dentists will use amalgam or silver fillings to close spaces in teeth that are too large for composite fillings. However, amalgam and silver fillings should never be used in conjunction with air abrasion because the procedure will leave the teeth too smooth for metal fillings to properly adhere. Therefore, only composite fillings can be applied following air abrasion.

What is involved with the air abrasion procedure?

When someone first comes in to see a dentist and they’re interested in having veneers done, the dentist will inspect the teeth to see which is the best treatment option. If the dentist thinks air abrasion will be the most effective, then we can schedule the procedure.

First, rubber dams and cotton balls will be used to segregate the teeth and ensure the adjacent teeth are not affected. Under specialized lighting and magnification, the teeth will be sprayed with particles including aluminum oxide and silica. Jets of compressed air, delivered through a dental handpiece, provide enough force for the particles to remove the decay. The waste will be eliminated from the mouth with a suction device.

The dentist will use a special red chemical dye to ensure that all traces of decay are gone. An acid solution will then be applied to the affected areas to roughen the surface enough for the filling to be placed successfully. The composite filling will be hardened using specialized lights, then polished to make it look completely natural.

If you have questions about the air abrasion process, please ask your dentist. You can call us at (818) 782-9500 or email us at [email protected]

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