In the past, all tooth decay was treated the same way—drill and fill. For many, however, simply the sound of a dental drill is enough to drive them away. These days, more and more dentists are utilizing an alternative method called air abrasion. It utilizes a small powerful stream of air and abrasive particles to remove decayed tooth structure while producing minimal noise except the sound of blowing air. In addition, with small cavities, the need for needles and anesthetic is often eliminated. Unfortunately, air abrasion is not effective at removing existing fillings with decay underneath, so it is not used frequently on adults. In the pediatric population though, most decay is on virgin tooth, so air abrasion is a great tool.