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Air Abrasion

Air abrasion is a new micro-dentistry technique that is used to treat tooth decay and prepare teeth for restorations.  Traditionally, dentists used noisy dental drills to remove decay and prepare the teeth for fillings, but air abrasion has proven to be a noiseless, heatless, minimally invasive alternative.  Air abrasion is similar to sandblasting, in that tiny particles are propelled toward small areas of decay to remove them.  A filling is then applied to seal the tooth from further harm.

An anesthetic is not usually required for this procedure, which means the dentist can treat multiple teeth in a single appointment.  The goal of air abrasion is to pinpoint and remove early areas of decay, while preserving more of the natural tooth.  The combination of air abrasion and composite resin fillings quickly and comfortably restores functionality and strength to the teeth.

Here are some of the main advantages associated with air abrasion:

  • More of the natural tooth is left untouched.
  • No need for anesthesia in most cases.
  • No vibrations, horrible noises or excessive pressure.
  • Quicker, easier procedures.
  • Reduced risk of further damage to the teeth (chipping and fractures).
  • Teeth are left dry, which is advantageous for filling placement.

Who can benefit from air abrasion?

As with many dental procedures, air abrasion is not necessarily suitable for every person.  The best candidates for air abrasion are patients who are fearful of the dental drill, children, and individuals with minimal dental decay.  Regular dental check ups help diagnose cavities which may be forming on the surfaces of the teeth.  Spotting cavities early increases the chances that the air abrasion treatment can be utilized.

Air abrasion can be used in instances other than tooth decay, including the removal of existing composite fillings, the preparation of teeth for sealants and the removal of surface stains on teeth.  Amalgam and silver fillings cannot be used in conjunction with air abrasion because the procedure leaves the teeth too smooth for metal fillings to properly adhere.  Therefore, only composite fillings can be applied following air abrasion.

What is involved with the air abrasion procedure?

Initially, the dentist will thoroughly examine the teeth and assess whether the air abrasion technique is going to be the most effective option.  Once this has been decided, the procedure can be scheduled.

First, rubber dams and cotton balls will be used to segregate the teeth and ensure the adjacent teeth are not affected.  Under specialized lighting and magnification, the teeth will be sprayed with particles including aluminum oxide and silica.  Jets of compressed air, delivered through a dental hand-piece, provide enough force for the particles to remove the decay.  The waste will be eliminated from the mouth with a suction device.

The dentist will use a special red chemical dye to ensure that all traces of decay are gone.  An acid solution will then be applied to the affected areas to roughen the surface enough for the filling to be placed successfully.  The composite filling will be hardened using specialized lights, then polished to make it look completely natural.

If you have questions about the air abrasion process, please ask your dentist.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

“We feel like you are all part of our family! I hope we can remain with you for a very long time. Thanks for helping our children understand about their dental health”

Michelle B.

“Have you heard of the movie, “Encino Man?” Well, Dr. Marilyn Calvo is the “Encino Woman!” I have been going to Dr. Calvo for four years now, and I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else. Her whole office radiates such professionalism, warmth, and friendliness. She is so very thorough that even the tiniest cavity can’t get past her. She is truly and artist. So, if you are wise, head out west on Ventura Blvd. to Dr. Marilyn Calvo, the very BEST!”

Bill A.

“Dr. Calvo is not just the most amazing dentist I have ever known, but she is the most amazing down to earth person. I was lucky to discover Dr. Calvo through a friend who highly recommended her. I got veneers done with her and they look AMAZING!! Everyone is jealous of how great my smile is. When I first went in to see her I was blown away with how much attention she paid to me. She always makes sure to spend time with her patients’ one on one and explain exactly what is going on to make sure you are aware.”


“In my past, I went to dentists who never explained anything and just did the routine cleaning without emotion and passion. Dr. Calvo has so much passion and knowledge for the services she provides. She is definitely a dentist who genuinely cares and improves the lives of people around her. I am so grateful to have her. The staff that works with Dr. Calvo are the nicest people I have ever known. I look forward to going to the dentist for the first time in my life.”

Jen C.

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