Now in many cases, dentists instead of a shot to numb the tooth and drill to remove the decay, can use an air and powder mix that shoots out of a very small nozzle. This quickly removes the decay and is painless in most cases. Even if there is some feeling it is usually tolerable and preferable to getting numb. Just think how nice it would be to get your fillings done by a dentist and not have to have a shot and a numb lip for the next three hours. If preferred, anesthetic is always an option, of course. For sure, the art and science of dentistry have changed, offering a no needle, no drill, no fear procedure for removing decay. Since air abrasion is achieved by directing a thin stream of air and abrasive powder at the area of tooth decay, only a minimal amount of tooth is removed. Air abrasion allows for very small cavity preparations and is part of what is called microdentistry. Microdentistry is the philosophy and practice of finding and treating decay as early as possible, of removing as little tooth structure as possible, of making the smallest possible fillings, of assuring that those fillings are the same color as the teeth, and are long lasting. So air abrasion is the part of the microdentistry procedure that removes the decay and prepares the tooth for the filling. Some people have a fear dental care. But the gentle process of air abrasion and microdentistry takes the emphasis off pain and fear and moves it to conservative, healthy, natural appearing dentistry.