It's an accepted fact that microdermabrasion is a simple and effective means of improving the skin on your face. The buffing action evens out your skin tone and removes imperfections. The same basic principle can be applied to your teeth, and this process is known as enamel microabrasion. In cosmetic dentistry, it's often referred to as color correction for your teeth. How does it work?
A Precise Treatment
Although buffing is involved in enamel microabrasion, it's not as though a dentist simply sandpapers the surfaces of your teeth. It's far more precise than that. The process requires precision since it's crucial that only the very top layer of your dental enamel is treated. Your enamel is a shield that protects your teeth from acid and harmful oral biofilm. When enamel is lost, the underlying dentin is exposed, and your teeth become infinitely more sensitive. This is not only uncomfortable but makes your teeth far more vulnerable to decay. This is why enamel microabrasion can only be performed on healthy enamel.
Stains and Imperfections
Enamel microabrasion is called color correction because it actually removes stains and imperfections that would have otherwise simply been masked, which is the case with dental bleaching and other comparable treatments. These stains and imperfections are gone, and whether or not they return is dependant on how well you care for your teeth in the years to come.
The process itself utilizes an acidic compound (phosphoric acid or hydrochloric acid) in conjunction with an abrasive compound that facilitates the exfoliation (ultra-fine pumice or silicon carbide). It's applied to your teeth using a handheld tool (typically a tapered diamond head bur). Your dentist performs a brief microabrasion before you rinse and spit. Your dentist then assesses their progress, before repeating as necessary, until the desired level of microabrasion has been achieved.
It should be noted that while the treatment is achieved by buffing, the treatment is only applied to the surfaces of your teeth, which have no nerves and therefore, no ability to register discomfort. No pain relief or anesthesia is required for most patients, although if you're particularly sensitive to dental treatment (and might not be entirely comfortable with the vibrations produced by the treatment), your dentist can apply a numbing agent before proceeding.
Enamel microabrasion is a way to freshen up your smile with minimal effort, so when you feel like your smile isn't as dazzling as it could be, have a word with your dentist. Reach out to a cosmetic dentist to learn more.