Technology brings painless dentistry

Drill-less dentistry, also called air abrasion, is being offered by some dentists now. Air abrasion can be used to remove tooth decay, to remove some old composite restorations, to prepare a tooth surface for bonding or sealants, and to remove superficial stains and discolorations. The air abrasion instrument works like a mini sandblaster to spray away the decay, stain, or to prepare the tooth surface for bonding or sealant application.

With air abrasion, a fine stream of particles is aimed at the tooth surface. These particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide, or a baking soda mixture and are propelled toward the tooth surface by compressed air or a gas that runs through the dental hand-piece. Small particles of decay, stain, etc., on the tooth surface are removed as the stream of particles strikes them. The remnant particles are then “suctioned” away. No drill or drill-less dentistry allows removal of dental decay without the dreaded whine of the drill and often without the needle, too! It can get at decay sooner because it is a fine spray so you can keep your natural teeth for life. Few patients need anesthesia of any type.

The procedure is accomplished with the exciting, new dental laser, which gently and effectively treats the ravages of gum disease, usually without numbing anesthesia. It stops the progression of the tooth and bone-destroying diseases. Laser treatment helps to eliminate the need for conventional, often painful, gum surgery in the majority of cases.The laser can also be used to gently and artistically refashion the gum line. It can turn short teeth or a gummy smile into the smile you’ve always wanted.

Electronic Anesthesia—no pain; no needle; no drugs; no after effects; this technology precisely controls the dosage of anesthesia so you get only the amount required to painlessly complete the procedure. It is used in the more common procedures that require numbing. You’re no longer leaving with a completely numb face after every tooth-restoring procedure.

In-Office Sedation—there are now numerous ways to make patients who are undergoing complex smile restorations feel comfortable. Oral medication can provide conscious sedation that makes everything go away: stress, worry and memory of the procedure.

One-Visit Root Canals—the root canal is a procedure that has kept many people away from the dental office, including those who might not need one, just because of the ‘mythic lore’ behind the term. Much of the reason for the fear wasn’t so much the discomfort, but the technique used. It used to be, and still is in many offices, a manual or imprecise mechanical process.Latest technology provides a dentist to precisely locate the apex of the root, electronically, and with a computer-controlled device, is able to remove the damaged or diseased root efficiently and more comfortably.

Surgical Telescope—precision in surgery means comfort is increased and results are improved. The surgical telescope makes esthetic enhancement better because it allows for an up-close view of the artistry being created. It increases surgical comfort because it enhances accuracy, reducing the time needed to perform each procedure.

While technology has moved into the dentistry circles, certainly not all practitioners are equipped with the new tools. However, through a little research and perhaps a few phone calls, you can locate the dentist who can help with your dental woes. After all, it shouldn’t hurt to smile!

Shamblott Family Dentistry specializes in adult braces and family dentistry, and is located in Minneapolis, MN. Visit them online at

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