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Micro-Dentistry and Air Abrasion

Air Abrasion
What is Micro-dentistry?

Micro-dentistry is a new, alternative way to treat decay in teeth. The idea behind this technology is to remove as little of the natural tooth as possible while removing all of the decay. With the advent of our new bonding techniques, decay indicating dyes, magnification, fiber-optic lights and white filling materials, decay can be conservatively removed from a tooth and a filling placed that will restore a tooth to its original strength and beauty. Over 90% of the time, we do not need to make you numb to do micro-dentistry and air abrasion so we can eliminate the need for a shot. With the reduced need for anesthetic, we can complete more work in a shorter amount of time since we can work in multiple areas of your mouth in the same appointment. In addition to saving time, you will enjoy the reduction of noise normally caused by a traditional dental drill.

How is this done?

We use air-abrasion, which is a relatively new process in which a fine, pressurized stream of aluminum oxide powder is used to remove the small decayed pits and fissures in teeth. Research studies have shown that in the absence of smoking and coffee drinking, if a patient has dark stained pits in their teeth, decay is present over 90% of the time underneath the stains. In our office we believe very strongly in prevention and early treatment of disease. It just makes good sense to treat small cavities early with conservative micro-dentistry than to wait for things to get worse.

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The technique:

Small cavities are identified and scheduled for early treatment.

prepped tooth
The teeth are isolated either with rubber dam or cotton rolls and the decay is removed with the air-abrasion machine, under magnification and special light sources in a very conservative manner.

red stain
Special cavity stains are used to chemically stain decay in the teeth to help us see any small spots so nothing is missed. Once rinsed off, the tooth is now ready for the filling.

The prepared tooth is treated with an etching solution to roughen the surface and get it ready for the bonding process. Once “etched”, the tooth is ready for bonding agents and the conservative filling. We use special lights to harden the filling and then complete the process by polishing the filling.

The surface is sealed and protected leaving the tooth restored to its original strength and beauty.

Micro-dentistry is an excellent preventative treatment for those who share our belief that early, conservative care is ideal. You can have decay removed without a shot, loud noise, or bad smells. If you have any questions, just ask us about this new and exciting technology.