This tooth was prepared for a composite filling using air-abrasion and no anesthetic.

Dental Air Abrasion (KCP)

Dental air-abrasion (also known as kinetic cavity preparation or KCP) is basically microscopic sand-blasting in the mouth. The procedeure can remove tooth structure as fast or faster than a drill without the noise, vibration or pain felt with the drill. Most air-abrasion preparations for fillings can be done with no anesthesia. It can remove tooth structure very close to the nerve of the toth with little damge to the tissue in the tooth.

Histologic slide of a preparation to within 30 microns (.030 mm) of the pulp of the tooth. Very little damage is apparent to the tissue adjacent to the preparation. (arrow)(21K jpeg)

This makes it ideal for children's dentistry. The downside of the technique is that it can be messy and it takes a lot of finess to control the instrument. The possibility if injecting air into the gums or cheek also exists (air emphysema).

Air-abrasion removes tooth structure by knocking off minute pieces of tooth with tiny impacts causing less chipping and cracking than regular dental drills.

Drill margin. Note chipping (white arrows) and cracking (red arrow) caused by the rotary cutting action of the drill. (arrows)(22K jpeg)

Air-abrasion margin. Note smoothv rounded margin (white arrows) with no cracking or chipping (arrows)(30K jpeg)

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