February 27, 2024

Air Abrasion: A Noiseless, Heatless Alternative to Ultrasonic Drills

Noisy ultrasonic drills can lead to dental anxiety and fear among many. This eventually leads to a phobia that keeps them away from the dentist. Dental anxiety has proven to deteriorate oral health due to a lack of awareness and visits to the dentist. 

Salina family dentist specializes in new dentistry technique that is used to treat tooth decay and prepare teeth for restorations. This is known as “air abrasion”. This is a revolutionary technique that is noiseless, and a minimally invasive alternative. 

An insight into air abrasion

Air abrasion is defined as a drill-less and heatless technique used by dentists to remove early, small areas of tooth decay and to perform other procedures. This is a safe and effective procedure that utilizes a special instrument resembling a mini-sandblaster to spray away decayed particles. The tooth is sealed to prevent any further harm or bacterial invasion. 

The main aim of air abrasion is to pinpoint and remove early areas of caries while preserving most of the natural tooth. The combination of air abrasion and composite fillings restores functionality and strength to the teeth, efficiently. 

Every innovative dental alternative is always favorable 

Air abrasion is an excellent alternative to traditional drilling methods due to the following benefits:

  • There is no heat, pressure, or vibration generated during air abrasion
  • This technique greatly minimizes the need for anesthesia (a numbing agent), especially for shallow cavities
  • Air abrasion preserves most of the healthy tooth tissue
  • This technique significantly reduces the risk of fracture or chipping of the tooth. This can enhance the lifespan of most of the composite fillings
  • The teeth are left dry after air abrasion, which is advantageous for the placement of the filling

Best candidates suitable for air abrasion

Air abrasion is often used in the following circumstances:

  • Patients with dental anxiety and fear
  • For minimal tooth decay 
  • Removal of old composite fillings
  • Preparing the tooth surface for bonding  or sealants
  • Removal of superficial stains and tooth discolorations

Exploring the course of action during air abrasion

When you visit your dentist, initially your tooth will be examined and evaluated to determine if air abrasion is the right technique for your individual need. 


  • The teeth to be treated are isolated using a rubber dam and cotton balls, which also keeps the area clean and dry. 
  • During air abrasion, a fine stream of particles (made up of silica, aluminum oxide, or baking soda mixture) is aimed at the discolored decayed portion of the teeth, through compressed air or gas delivered through the dental handpiece.
  • As the stream of particles strikes the tooth surface, the decayed particles are forcefully sprayed away.
  • The decayed particles are then suctioned away through a thin tube.


Air abrasion is an ideal alternative to noisy dental drills. This is an excellent technique that helps save most of your natural tooth structure, thereby enhancing the integrity of your oral health.   

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