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Int J Paediatr Dent. 1999 Jun;9(2):133-40.

The safety and efficacy of treatment with air abrasion technology.

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Faculty of Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, Canada.



To evaluate patient and operator exposure to respirable particulates following the use of air abrasion in tooth preparation, and to compare the microleakage of pit and fissure sealants after conventional, bur and air abrasion preparation of the pits and fissures.


To examine air abrasion safety, sampling data were collected using a physical model of the upper torso of a patient. Previously extracted bovine incisors were prepared using an air abrasion instrument. Patient and operator exposure samples were collected. The variables examined included the size of the alumina oxide particles, the speed of particle delivery and the method of dust collection. To assess the efficacy of air abrasion, 36 extracted human molars were divided into three groups. The groups were prepared by conventional acid etching, opening the pits and fissures with a round bur, or by air abrasion. To simulate oral conditions, sealed teeth were immersed in artificial saliva and thermocycled. Teeth were immersed in a 1% solution of methylene blue and sectioned to assess the microleakage associated with each sealant.


(1) Dust from the KCP 1000 is insufficient to be a health hazard to patients or operators, (2) chair-side suction can be used as an alternative to the KCP 1000 suction, (3) superior sealants were obtained when tooth surfaces were prepared by a bur, compared to air abrasion and conventionally prepared surfaces, and (4) air abrasion tooth surfaces demonstrated less microleakage than conventionally prepared tooth surfaces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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