Air Abrasion for Dental Phobia


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Contrary to popular belief, the dental drill isn’t the only option when it comes to having some dental work done that involves drilling into your teeth. In fact a technology developed at around the same time as the dental drill, air abrasion, provides an alternative for those who find themselves suffering from a phobia of the dental drill.

What is air abrasion?

Air abrasion technology essentially uses compressed air to blow an extremely fine aluminium oxide powder which has the exact same effect as the usual dental drill. The system is a lot gentler as rather than a drill bit going into your tooth, powdered air is used, and this has the added advantage of not scaring people suffering from a dental phobia. Some people may raise issue with the powder being blown into their mouths, but the gritty sensation is temporary and removed after a quick rinse.

Benefits of air abrasion

Air abrasion provides a viable and serviceable alternative to the dental drill, which is a lifesaver for people who have a phobia of that particular bit of equipment. An advantage of this method is that if your tongue gets in the way, all you’ll feel is a bit of air blowing on it. Air abrasion is free of the menacing noise of a drill and its vibrations, making it quite a different experience. Moreover a shot of local anaesthetic is in fact not needed for air abrasion, which means that if you are afraid of needles and the application of a local anaesthetic.

Air abrasion can also be extremely precise and allow for ‘micro-dentistry’, meaning that much smaller areas of decay can be dealt with at an early stage saving you pain and discomfort and the potential loss of a tooth.

Caveats of air abrasion

Not all dentists offer the option of air abrasion, but if you are set on it you can probably find one by shopping around a little bit. Air abrasion is not suitable for some procedures, like deep fillings or silver fillings, and if the treatment your dentist has in mind is not suitable for air abrasion, then they will let you know.


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