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Air Abrasion - Dentistry Without the Drill

Air Abrasion – Dentistry Without the Drill

the science of smiles best dentist pasadena caAs a member of the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry, and a dentist who’s committed to minimally invasive dentistry, I’ve invested time, education, and training into a dental technique called Dental Air Abrasion. It’s a less intrusive way to treat cavities without the drill.

(RELATED: Why You Need a Biomimetic Dentist)

Air abrasion is a drill-less technique to remove small areas of tooth decay. It works just like a sandblaster which helps remove graffiti from walls. The air abrasion hand piece blows a mighty air stream of tiny aluminum oxide particles out of its tip onto the tooth which blasts the decay away leaving 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. A narrow stream of particles aims at the stained or decayed area of the tooth. These particles are often made of 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.

(RELATED: No More Root Canals! Biomimetic Dentistry is the “Tooth-Friendly” Choice)

The decay particles are then “suctioned” away through a thin tube.

Benefits of Air Abrasion

There are many benefits of using air abrasion compared to traditional dental drilling, including:

  • 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.

(RELATED: Filling Cavities Without Drills, Injections, or Pain)

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.


THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.