Air abrasion is a way to remove decay from a tooth without using a dental drill. It works like a sandblaster removing graffiti from walls. The air abrasion hand piece blows a powerful air stream of tiny aluminum oxide particles out of its tip onto the tooth. The tiny particles bounce off the tooth and blast the decay away.

Air abrasion is most commonly used to prepare teeth for composites, or “white fillings.” Air abrasion also helps to repair cracks and discolored teeth, to prepare teeth for bonding procedures, such as sealants, and for various other procedures. Air abrasion works well to repair chipped, fractured, or worn teeth; to prepare teeth for cosmetic surgery; remove stains and spots; repair old fillings and sealants; and repair broken crowns and bridges.

Your general dentist, who has been trained in restorative dentistry techniques, will perform any procedures that use air-abrasion technology. Ask your dentist if he or she uses air-abrasion equipment and if this technique is right for you.