For dental patients that get anxious at the mere sound of a drill, Dr. Kohani offers drill-less dentistry at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics. This procedure replaces the traditional drill with an innovative technique known as “air abrasion” or “microabrasion.” While air abrasion is not the right choice for every patient or every procedure, it is a good alternative for patients that experience fear and anxiety over dental procedures. Eliminating the need for anesthetics in many cases, patients often find air abrasion offers them the same effects as traditional procedures but without the discomfort or recovery time afterward.
What is Air Abrasion?
Air abrasion is a relatively new technique in dentistry that uses a special device to spray away the decay in the tooth to prepare it for a filling. Tiny particles are sprayed onto the tooth using compressed air. The particles might consist of an aluminum oxide or baking soda mixture that are strong enough to loosen the plaque decay and damage on the tooth. As the particles are suctioned away, they take the decay from the tooth with them, leaving a clean hole for filling.
Uses for Air Abrasion
Air abrasion may be recommended for the following situations:
• Removing small, superficial cavities from the teeth
• Preparing a cavity for a white composite filling
• Eliminating stains or spots from the surface of the teeth
• Repairing damage like cracks, chips or worn teeth
• Fixing broken bridges and crowns
Air abrasion is not a good option for deeper cavities or for patients opting for silver fillings. The procedure is also not advised for patients needing new crowns, bridges or dentures. Dr. Kohani will review your individual needs for treatment to determine whether air abrasion might be the best choice for you.
Benefits of Air Abrasion
There are a number of reasons why air abrasion might be the preferred choice for some patients:
• No need for needles or anesthetic used in most cases
• No drill sounds during the procedure to cause anxiety for the patient
• Allows us to leave more of the healthy tooth intact
• No heat, pressure or vibrations, creating greater comfort for the patient
• Lower risk of damaging the tooth during treatment
• Multiple areas can be addressed in a single treatment session
Air abrasion is often the treatment of choice for anxious adults and children that may be more fearful of dental procedures.
About the Procedure
Dr. Kohani performs air abrasion procedures without the use of anesthetic in most cases. The patient is given glasses to protect their eyes from small particles used during the procedure. A shield is also applied to other teeth to prevent the particles from getting on them. The device, which is much quieter than a drill, sprays the solution onto the teeth while gentle suction is used to remove them right away. This ensures none of the particles are inhaled into your lungs during the procedure. In many cases, air abrasion is faster than drilling, allowing patients to get the same services in shorter treatments.
Is Air Abrasion Right for You?
If you would like to learn more about air abrasion, or find out if it is the right treatment for you, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics today at 858-295-0603.