Dental Air Polishing: A Guide

30 August 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Increasing numbers of dental clinics across Australia are investing in air polishing equipment. But what exactly is air polishing and how can it improve your dental health? Below is a brief guide to air polishing.

What is Air Polishing?

During air polishing, your dentist will use a device to direct a stream of high-pressure air onto the surface of your teeth. The high-pressure air works in two ways. Firstly, the stream of air blows away any plaque that has become trapped on the surface of your teeth. Secondly, the air polishing machine adds a very fine abrasive powder to the stream of air which helps to remove stubborn stains such as those caused by coffee or red wine. There are two types of powders which are commonly used during air polishing, glycerin and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Both of these substances have fantastic abrasive qualities.

Is Air Polishing a Suitable Treatment for You?

One concern about dental air polishing is the sodium, bicarbonate which is sometimes used as an abrasive. Adults who suffer from high blood pressure are often recommended to follow a low sodium diet to help to keep the condition under control. The use of sodium bicarbonate, which has a very high salt content, could potentially pose a risk to dental patients with high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure and you are interested in air polishing, you should speak with your dentist beforehand in order to check if the treatment is suitable for you.

Air polishing may also not be suitable for patients who have undergone extensive tooth restoration work. There are concerns that the high-pressure air and abrasive powder could weaken the bonding of tooth restorations. If you have had tooth restoration work, you should speak to your dentist before having your teeth air polished. They may recommend a traditional dental polish instead, which are safe for use on restorations and provide a great finish.

Air polishing provides an efficient way of cleaning the surface of your teeth, with many patients coming to prefer this method over those used in traditional dental polishing. However, if you are not suitable for air polishing, traditional techniques still provide an effective treatment, which will leave you teeth, shiny, smooth and healthy.

If you have any questions or concerns about tooth polishing, you should contact your dentist. They will be able to offer advice and treatment as required.