Dread the vibration of the dental drill and the needle that turns our knees into jelly and our mouth into a bottomless drool pool? Hope springs eternal as a 1940's invention that eliminates the need for drills and needles is enjoying a popular resurgence. Introducing - air abrasion technology!
As an unabashed purveyor of hot air and student of dental duress, I've been intrigued at this miracle of modern 1940’s dental science.
Originally marketed as a painless cavity-mending machine called the Airdent, air abrasion lost out to the tech sexier air rotor, also known as the high speed air turbine. The air turbine, AKA “the drill,” is known far and wide by patients for its high-speed whine and a vibration that would make a La-Z-Boy® recliner proud.
The high-pitched whine of the air turbine is often accompanied by an aroma reminiscent of a burning dog’s tail or orange Jell-O® fried in a vat of year-old motor oil. Decades and thousands of late night jokes later, the shrill whining is as synonymous with dentistry as The National Safety and Traffic Administration is with auto crashes and manufacturer recalls.
But like a cat with nine lives and a double indemnity insurance policy, air abrasion has hung around and is enjoying resurgence due to improvements in technology and advances in dental care.
How does Air Abrasion work? It works like a micro sandblaster that sprays away decay and any food graffiti you missed while brushing and flossing an hour before your dental visit. Today air abrasion is used primarily for treating small to medium sized cavities, preparing teeth for dental sealants and removing stains on the surface of the teeth.
During the air abrasion procedure, the dentist aims a fine stream of tiny aluminum oxide particles propelled by compressed air toward the tooth to be treated. When the projected stream hits the tooth from the hand held dental piece, it... READ MORE