Hydro-abrasion is an alternative dentistry technique used to replace the use of the drill when treating teeth, especially for removing decay.
Proponents of hydro-abrasion claim that the technique results in reduced removal of healthy tooth. They also state that in many cases, the process of removing decay doesn’t require the use of anesthetics.
For some people avoiding injected pain killers is a great advantage, since for health reasons they may wish to, or need to, restrict the use of chemicals in their body. Other people just appreciate not having to be injected inside their mouths and having their jaws and gums feel numb. However, it is important to note it is not always possible to avoid pain killers.
Hydro-abrasion works a bit like a sandblaster.
The patient is given protective glasses and a small, high-pressure stream of water is used to chip off the decayed tooth. The water is enriched with microscopic aluminum oxide particles.
These particles create micro-impacts that are strong enough to remove soft decay but not enough to remove healthy, strong tooth structure. The force is similar to the one that’s used by conventional drills. However, unlike a drill, which will tear out tooth to adjust to the form of the drill, the water spray will adjust to the form of the healthy tooth.
After the use of the spray, any remains are removed with a suction hose. Any remaining water or aluminum oxide is harmless. In fact, aluminum oxide is often used in most commercial toothpastes. The patient usually feels a “cool” feeling during the process.
Hydro-abrasion: Alternative Treatment
Because it is an alternative treatment, the use of hydro-abrasion is not widespread yet. Dentists in general simply do not have the equipment that is needed to provide it. The process is typically used in simple or superficial cavities that have been detected and can be treated easily before they develop into something more complicated.
Hydro-abrasion does not work for removing silver amalgam fillings but can be used in conjunction with other techniques that can safely remove old fillings. Finally, hydro-abrasion, even when available in the United States or Canada, is more expensive than traditional treatment.
Costa Rica, always on the vanguard of dentistry, is one of the few places where you can obtain hydro-abrasion treatment at an affordable price, even taking into account the cost of the plane ticket.
If you are interested in hydro-abrasion therapy in Costa Rica, click here and fill out the “Find a Dentist” form. A participating dental specialist will reply to your needs.