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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

I loved my experience at Dr. Lopez's office. 20 years ago I had several unsightly metal fillings put in my mouth. Also, I've worn my teeth down by grinding considerably over the years. As I grew older, my teeth did not look good to me when I smiled. In July of 2015, I wanted to have all of the metal fillings in my mouth removed, and one of the fillings in particular had already cracked the tooth that it filled. Initially, I was very nervous, but Dr. Lopez and his staff completely put me at ease from the time I walked in the door. The way he rebuilt the grinding damage on my back teeth is remarkable. He is not only a great dentist but a gifted architect and engineer at the same time. I didn't even feel the numbing shots at all, and I actually fell asleep in the chair during the procedure thanks to Dr. Lopez's relaxing demeanor and the calming music in the room. To my wife, I affectionately refer to him as Dr. Lopezzzzzz, now, since I did fall asleep. I would recommend Dr. Lopez to even my closest family. Thank you, again, Dr. Lopez.

Chase H

I went to Dr. Lopez to get veneers on eight teeth (upper, front). From my initial consultation to getting my temporary veneers put in today, I have been consistently impressed by his practice. The entire staff operate as a single, professional team. Extremely courteous, knowledgable, and accommodating, they do everything they can to help patients feel both comfortable and fully informed of everything that goes on during their visit.

My process with the veneers thus far has been extremely smooth and easy. Despite what you may read on the Internet from other people who have gotten veneers elsewhere, Dr. Lopez goes through great measures to ensure that your experience is pain and worry free. He is truly a master at his craft, and his vast experience in the dental profession (equally reflected in his accolades) definitely shows.

I have a check-up for the temporary veneers in the next couple of weeks, and the permanent veneers will arrive shortly thereafter. I have full confidence that the rest of this process will go just as well as it has so far, especially after my visit today. Highly recommend this office for your dental needs. 5/5 stars.

Jason H

I have never liked going to the dentist because of painful past experiences. Shots, rough cleanings, etc. On my first visit, I had a cleaning . There was no pain. I was impressed. And a recent event that required shots, and extractions had me concerned about pain, but Dr. Lopez reassured me not to worry. As he began the shots,NO PAIN AT ALL!!! I was more than impressed! I knew I had found my dentist. Dr. Lopez and his staff are kind, gentle, professional, and the atmosphere is very relaxed and pleasant! I am very pleased, and highly recommend him!!!

Robin T

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Dr. Juan R. Lopez
Phone: 580-536-9647
6941 West Gore Blvd.
Lawton, OK 73505