When it comes to maintaining the health of your teeth, you may be one of the 30 million Americans who avoid their biannual dental cleanings. Deep cleansing and fillings can be painful, but new dental procedures that incorporate air may change the way you view your dental visits.
With air abrasion, a cold stream of air containing tiny particles of sand is sprayed onto the tooth, breaking up decay and lifting away surface stains in the process. This allows your dentist to painlessly “spray away” small cavities; especially those on the tops and sides of teeth that are easy to get to, without using anesthesia or a drill.
The pressure from the spray also removes plaque and debris, enhancing the whitening effect of professional cleanings and doubling as a pre-bleach treatment for tooth whitening. Additionally, your dentist may use it to repair and refinish older tooth-colored restorations instead of replacing them.
However, the procedure has its drawbacks. It can be a very messy alternative to the conventional drill-and-fill technique. But with precise attention to detail, a dentist can easily remove minor decay without the need for anesthetic.
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