Visits to the dentist's office are an integral part of good oral health and maintaining an attractive smile. Few patients actively enjoy a visit to the dentist's office but for some patients, the dread manifests as actual anxiety. The anxiety is sometimes heightened by the knowledge that a particular technique is going to involve the dental drill, which is loud and applies pressure to the teeth that can be felt even through numbing solutions.
Advances in dental technology have made it possible for a general or cosmetic dentist to ditch the drill during some procedures. What are some of these drill-free dental advances and how can they help during your dentist appointments?
Laser tools are able to perform many of the same routine dental procedures typically performed with a drill. One of the most common uses is in the treatment of tooth decay or cavities.
Your dentist can use a laser to remove the decayed dentin from your tooth to make way for a filling. The laser can help sterilize the area while also smoothing out the hole left behind when the decay is removed. Your dentist is then able to directly insert the filling material for a quick and drill-free experience.
Air abrasion tools work similarly to a small, gentle sandblaster. The tools can be used similarly to a laser to remove tooth decay. Or air abrasion can be used on the exterior of the tooth to prepare the tooth for a cosmetic dental piece.
Artificial crowns, dental bonds, and veneers all require the dentist to file the exterior of your tooth. The filing helps the piece fit better and increases the adhesion of the bonding compound used to attach the piece.
Air abrasion can help your dentist remove as little enamel as possible since the tool has more precision than a traditional drill. This is particularly helpful in cases where you might want to remove and replace the cosmetic dental piece at a later date.
Traditional veneers aren't the only cosmetic dental pieces that offer a drill-free method of improving your teeth and your smile. Prepless veneers offer the same tooth-front remodeling but don't require any of the tooth to be removed prior to installation.
Prepless veneers are still attached with a bonding cement that is strong enough to survive chewing but isn't as strong as a traditional veneer. The weaker bond does mean the veneer is reversible, which means that the veneer can both be removed and that the underlying tooth will essentially look the same as it did before the procedure. Reversible veneers are an option if you haven't fully decided on a cosmetic dental treatment plan but need to cover up a problem until the decision is made. For more information about dentistry, contact a dentist such as David Jackson, DDS.