Dentists use a lot of different procedures and materials when fixing problems with teeth, and a common procedure used for a variety of purposes in dentistry is called acid etching. You may have had this done before and not even realized it. Here are several things to understand about what this is and why your dentist might use it.
The purpose of acid etching
Acid etching is a very common procedure used by dentists for a variety of services, but it has one main purpose. The purpose of acid etching is simply to prepare a tooth in a way that allows a certain material to strongly adhere to it. Without acid etching, any material your dentist uses to fix a tooth will not have a strong connection, and this is primarily because dental materials do not adhere well to enamel. They do, however, adhere well to the under layers of teeth found below the enamel.
Procedures that require acid etching
When a dentist performs acid etching to a tooth, he or she is basically rubbing part of the tooth off to create a rough finish on the tooth. To do this, the dentist will often use an acid material on the tooth he or she is working on, and this acid is generally phosphoric acid and is in the form of a gel.
Once the acid etching is completed, the dentist can finish the procedure for the tooth. Dentists will usually use acid etching when they are applying sealants to teeth or performing fillings after removing cavities. Many dentists also use acid etching when completing bonding services on teeth or when applying veneers or crowns to teeth.
The effects of acid etching
Acid etching allows dentists an effective way to restore teeth that are damaged in some way. When finished, the acid etching helps create such a strong bond between the tooth and the material and products used to fix the tooth. This results in the patient having a tooth that looks and works well. One of the downsides to acid etching is that it can leave a tooth feeling sensitive afterwards; however, this usually goes away after a few weeks or months.
If you need to have a cavity filled, a crown installed, or other types of services, your dentist may use acid etching during the procedure. To learn more about this procedure or other dental procedures, contact a dental clinic of your choice today.