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The Reason of Using Dental Air Polishing

Air polishing units are used routinely in general dental practice for plaque and stain removal and for every situation when enamel is cleaned, such as prior to bonding procedures. Traditionally, a rubber cup and fluoridated prophy paste method has been used for plaque and stain removal. However, this technique has obvious limitations in areas of crowding, around orthodontic fixed appliance and of course, in areas of limited access such as under and around fixed multiple unit restorations. It is virtually impossible to adequately adequately clean around fixed appliances using a rubber cup technique. 

While air  polishing was the most effective of plaque removal for orthodontic patients, providing excellent access without damage to the orthodontic appliance. Frequent cleaning with a dental air polisher resulted in a greater reduction in gingival bleeding and marginal redness compared with pumice and rubber cup technique. This was attributed to the more thorough removal of plaque.

Air polishing was designed to replace the prophy cup method and has been shown to save more than 50% of the clinical time spent on this tedious procedure. The technique was widely acclaimed when introduced, but this initial enthusiasm was somewhat tempered when it was found that the early technology resulted in frequent clogging problems with the system and the need for frequent servicing and maintenance.

Dental air polishers typically generate a stream of pressurized air, carrying specially graded particles of a mild soluble abrasive, such as sodium bicarbonate. The abrasive is directed, in the presence of a stream of water, at a tooth surface to be cleaned. The mixture of water and powderladed stream occurs on the tooth surface and forms a “slurry” that is responsible for the cleaning action.

Air polishing is the method of choice for cleaning the enamel prior to bracket placement. Air polishing requires less time than traditional polishing methods and removes stain three times as fast as scaling with comers. In addition, less fatigue to the operator has been mentioned as an important benefit of air polishing.

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