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Can Air Abrasion and Waterlase Only be Used for Small Fillings?

Dear Dr Pinder, I am in need of 2 fillings but I am nervous about visiting the dentist to get them done. 5 years ago I fainted whilst having a biopsy taken at my local maxillofacial unit and I worry that it will happen again on my next visit, so I keep putting off my filling appointment.

I have heard about air abrasion and waterlase as potential substitutes to a drill. Am I right in thinking they can only be used for small fillings? Would you recommend these procedures for a nervous patient and are they expensive?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes.

If air abrasion is used then its usually only for early decay. However, it can be used without having a numbing injection, but often one is still needed .
It sounds to me as if you are putting off the fillings because you are frightened you may faint again with the injection?
There are ways to help stop this happening. Being in the chair with your head below your feet, the dentist using numbing gel, perhaps using the Wand to give the local. A technique I use for my patients who have a tendency to faint is to have them squeeze a stress ball in each hand and concentrate on that. It works very well. It’s more likely that these different aids would be used in private practice. I am able to quote the fee for a filling and include any of these things that are needed to help get the work done.  Hope this helps, Jenny. 

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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