Jim Erpenbach DDS is a Knoxville dentist committed to less invasive techniques and the latest technology, such as digital x-rays and air abrasion.
Digital x-rays are a highly accurate way of dental imaging that means less radiation exposure to the patient. Air abrasion is a way to treating cavities that doesn’t require a conventional drill.
Air abrasion is a drill-less technique that removes small areas of tooth decay. Just like a sandblaster, an air abrasion handpiece blows a mighty air stream of tiny aluminum oxide particles onto the tooth, which blasts the decay away. What’s left is a much cleaner and smoother tooth surface.
How Does Air Abrasion Work?
During air abrasion, an instrument that looks like an airbrush is used to spray away the decay. The “spray” is made up of particles containing a silica, aluminum oxide, or a baking soda mixture. They are propelled toward the tooth surface by compressed air or gas that runs through the dental hand-piece. Small parts of decay are removed from the tooth surface as the stream of particles strikes them with good pressure.
The decay particles are removed via a thin tube.
Benefits of Air Abrasion
- Air abrasion generates no heat, vibration, or pressure.
- Air Abrasion does not produce a scary sound as in the case of tooth drilling machine. The air abrasion procedure reduces fear in patients.
- Often, air Abrasion may reduce the requirement for anesthesia, especially if the cavity is shallow.
- More of the healthy tooth structure is left behind in Air Abrasion, unlike drilling.
- Air abrasion does not involve the risk of fracturing and chipping of the tooth.
Air Abrasion a Great Option for People With Dental Anxiety
Air abrasion is a good alternative for all patients with minimal tooth decay — especially children and for people who are nervous or elderly who fear the drill (dental anxiety) or the noise that comes from it.
Also, natural, tooth-colored composite fillings typically work best with air abrasion. This is because the composite material adheres best to teeth which have been smoothed by the air abrasion technique and this makes the filling last longer.
Interested in learning more? Let’s discuss the condition of your teeth and the process of dental air abrasion at your next appointment.
About Knoxville Dentist – Dr. Jim Erpenbach
At Jim Erpenbach DDS, your cosmetic dentist in Knoxville, we think of biomimetic dentistry as meaning less drilling and less discomfort for our patients, with long-lasting results. The dental work we create mimics natural teeth as much as possible. And it’s done with the latest technology and techniques.