Pain Management – Air Abrasion
Ask most people about the number one thing they hate about visits to the dentist and they’ll answer, ‘the drill!’ Just the sound alone is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the bravest souls! Modern advances in anaesthesia make the drill a relatively painless experience, but for those who really can’t stand it, there is an alternative called air abrasion. Also called microabrasion, air abrasion works in a similar manner to the sandblasters used to clean graffiti off walls.
A special device blows a powerful air-borne stream of super-fine aluminium oxide particles out of its tip. Aiming this stream at the tooth means that the particles bounce off the tooth, blasting the decay away. The technique can leave behind a gritty feeling which is easily rinsed away. Sometimes a rubber dam may be placed inside the mouth to serve as a particle barrier. A vacuum hose or water spray can also be used to minimise the debris.