What is the KCP and how does it work?
KCP is an innovative instrument that can be used as an alternative to the drill in many procedures. With ‘Air Abrasion’ or ‘drilless dentistry’ a microscopically fine powder is carried to the tooth by a stream of air, gently spraying away decay. In a simple sense, you could say it works like a precise miniature sandblaster. The KCP system greatly reduces heat and vibrations when compared to the traditional dental drill, and thus can be used with little or no tooth anesthesia. The KCP is also very useful in a variety of cosmetic procedures such as bonding, veneers, inlays and onlays.
What does KCP treatment mean to you as a patient?
Thanks to its precision and gentleness, the KCP allows us to treat decay at an earlier stage without as much removal of healthy tooth material. Saving sound tooth structure helps to preserve the strength of the tooth. Teeth treated this way may be less likely to require crowns in the future. Smaller fillings are less susceptible to wear and may last longer. The KCP system creates a cavity surface that is ideal for use with tooth-colored composite fillings. In some instances, the KCP actually allows us to complete your treatment in fewer visits.
Deep stained grooves in sealants
Grooves air-abraded with the KCP instrument
Grooves sealed with high quality dental materials
Will It Hurt?
Arguably the most desirable aspect of the KCP is its comfort for the patient. The KCP system greatly reduces heat and vibrations, two sources of discomfort during traditional drilling and filling. Treatment with the KCP is often used without anesthetic. This also enhances our ability to treat patients who are pregnant or medically compromised. With the KCP, we can often treat children without the two things they fear most: the needle and the drill. Since for some people the KCP may involve temporary minor discomfort, it would be inaccurate to call it “painless”.
Is It Safe?
The KCP is very safe. One concern for safety is the tiny particles used in the stream of air. These particles are alpha alumina, a pure, biocompatible substance long used in medicine and food. In fact, alpha alumina is a prime ingredient in several popular whitening toothpastes. Only a tiny amount of this microscopically fine powder is actually used in each procedure and most of it is immediately removed by our evacuation system. Scientific tests show that patients would have to undergo about 28 typical 20-30 second KCP procedures in order to inhale enough alpha alumina to equal the weight of one grain of table salt. The amount inhaled in a single procedure is about 1000 times less than the limit established by the occupational Safety and Health Administration.
What Can It Be Used For?
Besides tooth-colored fillings and sealants, the KCP is very useful in a number of cosmetic procedures such as veneers, inlays and onlays. It also allows us to apply protective restorations on pediatric patients thereby reducing the likelihood of needing to implement tooth anesthesia and the dental drill.
If I Come To Your Office, Will I Be Treated With The KCP?
Not necessarily. Though the KCP will dramatically reduce our overall reliance on the drill, it is not appropriate for every part of every procedure. For example, we will continue to use the drill to remove silver (amalgam) fillings and for crown preparations.