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Air Abrasion

Air abrasion is a new micro-dentistry technique that is used to treat tooth decay and prepare teeth for restorations.  Traditionally, dentists used noisy dental drills to remove decay and prepare the teeth for fillings, but air abrasion has proven to be a noiseless, heatless, minimally invasive alternative.  Air abrasion is similar to sandblasting, in that tiny particles are propelled toward small areas of decay to remove them.  A filling is then applied to seal the tooth from further harm.

An anesthetic is not usually required for this procedure, which means the dentist can treat multiple teeth in a single appointment.  The goal of air abrasion is to pinpoint and remove early areas of decay, while preserving more of the natural tooth.  The combination of air abrasion and composite resin fillings quickly and comfortably restores functionality and strength to the teeth.

Here are some of the main advantages associated with air abrasion:

  • More of the natural tooth is left untouched.
  • No need for anesthesia in most cases.
  • No vibrations, horrible noises or excessive pressure.
  • Quicker, easier procedures.
  • 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?

As with many dental procedures, air abrasion is not necessarily suitable for every person.  The best candidates for air abrasion are patients who are fearful of the dental drill, children, and individuals with minimal dental decay.  Regular dental check ups help diagnose cavities which 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 in instances 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.  Amalgam and silver fillings cannot be used in conjunction with air abrasion because the procedure leaves 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?

Initially, the dentist will thoroughly examine the teeth and assess whether the air abrasion technique is going to be the most effective option.  Once this has been decided, the procedure can be scheduled.

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 hand-piece, 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.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

My entire family gives Dr. Schmidt 5 stars! He is skilled, experienced, trustworthy, and you can tell he enjoys his job. My two children love to go to the dentist, and I think that speaks volumes. He makes you feel comfortable and at ease, even during unpleasant procedures. I trust Dr. Schmidt completely and know that he would never recommend unnecessary dental work. Oh, and by the way you cannot feel a thing when he gives you a shot.
The office staff is fun and super helpful as well. If you are looking for a dentist you will not regret coming to Dr. Schmidt!

Christina H.

THE place to go if you're scared of dentists. Dr. Schmidt is funny and relaxes you immediately. He makes a real effort so you don't feel pain. I hadn't gone in years and was hyperventilating before I went. Dr Schmidt's whole team was great. Told them I was nervous and they were great. Now, I'm never afraid to go. I trust him to the point that I eventually got braces (his recommended orthodontist was fabulous too) and today I've got a great smile.
He has several chairs. They can take X-rays right in the chair, and you can see them yourself on a big screen.
The office is a bit hidden in the interior corner of the shopping center, so you won't notice it from the parking lot.
My embarrassing moment... Going to the fish and chip place a few spots away to buy British candy afterward. I don't eat it right away!

A G.

Dr. Schmidt is the best dentist around. I have experienced a few different approaches and Dr. Schmidt's is the most comforting and knowledgeable. You never leave feeling negative or like you got raked over the coals. I was referred to Dr. Schmidt years ago by a close family friend and have not turned back. My family sees him and I have referred everyone I know to him. Over the years his staff has changed a lot but everyone I have come across is great. Highly recommended!

Jonathan G.

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Contact Us.We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form.

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