Air Abrasion Dental Technology is used for filling and offers an alternative to the drill hence eliminating the need for a needle. This technique, is often referred to in the media as ‘no-needle no-drill’ technique. We offer this treatment option in selected cases as it has limitations.
The History of Air Abrasion
Air Abrasion technology was introduced in the 1950’s as an alternative to a needle and a drill for cavity restoration. Unfortunately, the most popular filling procedures available at this that time involved the use of silver Amalgam, which did not exactly lend itself to air abrasion properties. So, when the high-speed dental drill proved to be a superior device for all fillings, air abrasion cavity removal became obsolete. Nowadays, the ability to bond in strong tooth-coloured composite fillings has re-opened the door to air abrasion in dentistry once again.
From Dinosaurs to Dentistry
While use of air abrasion in dentistry was headed the way of the dinosaurs, new applications for this unique technology were being unearthed. Today, there are hundreds of uses for air abrasion technology in many different industries all over the world. Semiconductor manufacturers use it to help make microchips; medical companies use it to sharpen hypodermic needles; the aerospace industry uses it to repair electronic circuit boards on aero planes, spaceships, and satellites; even museums use it for restoration of priceless artifacts and for restoring prehistoric fossils. Just imagine the same technology used for cavity preparation on your own teeth. In the past, surface cavities in the teeth were easy to spot and X-rays were used to detect those, which occurred primarily in hard-to-see areas. We now use more advanced techniques such as cavity detecting dyes to detect cavities in its earliest stages.
Micro Adhesive dentistry is a conservative, less traumatic alternative to a high-speed drill, which allows your doctor to selectively remove any decay leaving a healthier tooth structure intact. Since the procedure is less invasive to your healthy tooth structure, the air abrasion process can be accomplished in less time, and often times without the need for anesthesia. No more injections, no more droopy lips, and fewer visits to your dentist to accomplish cavity restorations in multiple quadrants of the mouth.
The Progress of Tooth Decay Now
Over the past several years, widespread use of fluoride has made the outer enamel of the tooth more decay resistant. Unfortunately, tiny pits and fissures still form in the tooth surface. This makes it difficult to completely clean the tooth surface, because these small cracks are often times smaller than a single toothbrush bristle. Bacteria left in these microscopic grooves can slowly break down the tooth structure, allowing decay to reach inside the less resistant tooth dentin, where it frequently blooms into a large cavity.
The no needle Air Abrasion technique is only suitable for restoring small to medium -sized cavities. It may not be suitable where large cavities are present or to replace old fillings. This technique cannot be utilized for crown and bridge procedures, root canal therapy, or extractions.