Digital Dental X-rays Santa Barbara CA

Air Abrasion

Air Abrasion in Santa Barbara, CA

If your dentist has recommended the use of air abrasion to treat some of your dental health care concerns, you'll be glad to know that this progressive option can treat dental decay without the use of a drill. This minimally invasive method treats and prepares your teeth for a variety of dental care needs.

What is Air Abrasion?

Sometimes called microabrasion, air abrasion is the method of removing tooth decay using tiny particles of silica or aluminum oxide. It's sort of like using a sandblaster to gently wear away the decay that has built up inside your mouth. This method is often preferred by patients because it means no dental drill is required.

Air Abrasion Dentist Santa Barbara

How Does Air Abrasion Work?

The air is compressed and combined with the tiny particles. This combination is then sprayed in a stream onto the affected tooth.

What Does Air Abrasion Treat?

This method is usually reserved for preparing a tooth for a new filling. When it is used for this purpose, you may hear the term "kinetic cavity preparation." Air abrasion uses kinetic energy combined with these particles to prepare the cavity in your tooth to be filled.

Other things microabrasion may be used for include:

  • Removal of superficial enamel defects
  • Removal of pit and fissure stains on enamel before composite restoration
  • Detection of pitting and fissure caries
  • Removal of existing restorations and old composites (non-metallic)

Is Air Abrasion Safe?

Air abrasion is a safe procedure that can be effective for most people. We will provide you with simple protective gear (protective eyewear and the use of a rubber dam for the teeth or protective resin for nearby teeth) and our dental assistant will suction away the excess, safely removing the particles from your mouth.

When Should Air Abrasion Be Avoided?

There are a few limited contradictions for this procedure which you and your dentist will need to keep in mind. Patients with any of the following indications need to let their dentist know before beginning treatment.

  • Severe dust allergies
  • Asthma
  • Subgingival caries removal
  • Chronic pulmonary disease
  • Any recent tooth extractions
  • Open wounds in the mouth
Microabrasion Santa Barbara
Microabrasion Santa Barbara

What Are the Advantages of Air Abrasion?

The air abrasion method in dentistry has many benefits for the patient, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Air abrasion can prevent the need for topical local anesthesia during some procedures.
  • This method is cost-effective.
  • No drill means a faster, noise-free process.
  • There is a reduced risk of further damage to the teeth.
  • There are no loud drilling noises, intense vibrations in the mouth, and no burning smell.
  • Multiple teeth can be treated in a single visit saving time and money for the patient.
  • Air abrasion is especially beneficial for children who are afraid of needles, noise, and vibrations usually associated with drilling.
  • More of the natural tooth can be left untouched.
  • There's no need for anesthesia in most uses of air abrasion.
  • Teeth are left dry, which is beneficial for fillings.

What Are the Limitations of Air Abrasion?

There are a few circumstances when air abrasion cannot be used and has some disadvantages, though they are fairly minor.

  • While air abrasion is less challenging than using a drill, the process is not always 100% pain-free if there is sensitivity in the mouth.
  • Air abrasion cannot be used to remove hard enamel if the decay lies deep. A drill will need to be used for this stage, though air abrasion can be used once the hard enamel has been removed.
  • Air abrasion is not for use on deep cavities or cavities between teeth
  • Onlays, inlays, and crowns cannot be prepared using air abrasion.
Microabrasion Santa Barbara

What Should I Expect with Air Abrasion?

When you go in for your scheduled air abrasion treatment, rubber dams and cotton balls will be used to separate and protect the unaffected teeth from the one(s) that will be treated that day.

Then, under magnification and specialized lighting, the air abrasion tool will be used to spray the aluminum oxide or silica particles onto the affected surface(s). A dental assistant will suction out all excess.

A special red chemical dye will be used to ensure that all decay is removed.

If you are having a filling or composite placed, an acid solution will be applied to affected areas to rough up the surface enough for fillings/composites to adhere properly. Then the material will be hardened under specialized lights and then polished to seamlessly blend into your mouth as if they are natural teeth.

What Does Air Abrasion Cost?

The cost of air abrasion is usually similar to the cost of using a drill to remove decay. The team at See Me Smile Dental will always check your insurance coverage and go over all costs with you, as well as all of our payment options available!

Meet Dr. Omid

Dr. Omid Barkhordar, DDS has earned his reputation as a leading family and cosmetic dentist in Santa Barbara, the Central Coast, and Southern California. He is committed to providing patients of all ages with compassionate care.

From general dentistry to advanced procedures, Dr. Omid uses innovative technology and gentle techniques to deliver safe and stress-free dental care so patients can enjoy a painless, healthy, and gorgeous smile.

Dr. Omid earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Dentistry in one of the best dental programs in the United States. His dedication to helping patients achieve their perfect smile has earned Dr. Omid the continued trust and recommendation of many clients.

No matter the age or needs of the patient, Dr. Omid is committed to helping you discover the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile.

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Dr. Omid Barkhordar


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