The high-pitched whirring of a dental drill can be associated with pain by many people. The sound alone can trigger a wince from many.

A relatively new technique called air abrasion uses powerful particles of aluminum oxide to remove debris and decay. The most exciting thing for patients is that air abrasion is painless and, in some cases, doesn’t require an anaesthetic.

Air abrasion leaves behind a gritty feeling in your mouth, which is simply rinsed away with water and removed by using a small suction device.

If a tooth has a tiny crack and/or imperfection, it can be fixed using air abrasion. Although air abrasion is not suitable for work on crowns and bridges, it is often used for bonding procedures, and on tooth restorations involving composite, or tooth-coloured fillings.