21. March 2011 09:45
Last time we discussed our ability to diagnosis beginning and smaller biting surface cavities with a laser called the DIAGnodent. Today we will follow up with a technique of how many of those types of areas can be repaired.
In keeping with the trend of “micro-dentistry” a method has been developed to remove a small area of decay with minimal invasion of good tooth structure. Air abrasion is a technique that utilizes a stream of compressed air combined with a flow of tiny abrasive silicate or aluminum oxide particles. This mixture is delivered to the tooth structure through a small orifice in what looks almost like a pen. This creates what I describe as a tiny sandblaster.
This abrasive air stream allows us to very specifically spray away small amounts of decay while leaving healthy tooth structure in the area intact. Because there is no heat, vibration, or sound as with the conventional dental drill, many times this procedure can be performed painlessly without the need for novocaine. This makes for an excellent treatment technique for both children and adults.
Once the decay is removed a unique filling material is used to restore the tooth. Since these defects are normally very thin in width, the normal tooth colored composite filling materials can’t be condensed into the defect without creating voids. To solve this problem a new flowable type of composite was created. This material has the consistency of honey and is placed into the tooth with the use of a tiny syringe creating a beautiful, natural- looking restoration.
So we are now able to easily and painlessly restore small areas of decay without the dental drill (and the associated anxiety) while preserving the maximum amount of tooth structure.
Welcome to minimally invasive dentistry!