What is a White Spot Lesion?
White spot lesions are permanent white spots on the teeth. The spots appear white due to refraction or scattering of light in the enamel. These lesions can be caused by a loss of mineral content (demineralization) in the tooth’s enamel, trauma to a developing tooth, or excess fluoride during tooth development. Demineralization can occur when there is a buildup of acidity, caused by diet or as a byproduct of bacteria. It is commonly seen after orthodontic braces are removed. White spot lesions from excess fluoride or trauma occur despite good oral hygiene.
How Can White Spot Lesions Be Treated?
The recommended treatment for white spot lesions depends on four things: 1) size of white spots, 2) cause of the spots, 3) deterioration of enamel, 4) quantity of spots on teeth. Teeth whitening was commonly used to minimize the spot appearance, but this approach is not always predictable with white spots. A more predictable technique called ICON resin infiltration is now used for white spot treatment.
What is ICON Resin Infiltration?
ICON resin infiltration is a minimally invasive treatment that diminishes the appearance of white spots on teeth. The in-office procedure works without anesthesia or drilling in a short appointment. The benefit of ICON resin infiltration is two-fold. First, the resin is used to fill demineralized enamel and helps prevent further demineralization. Second, it can make white spots less noticeable by altering how light is refracted into the tooth.
During the appointment, your dentist will use a solution to gently scrub the tooth with pumice similar to how they polish teeth in a cleaning appointment. Next, they apply an etchant that opens the pores of the tooth and allows for resin penetration. The resin is scrubbed onto the tooth and masks the lesion. Lastly, the tooth is polished smooth. Results have been shown to last years and can make dramatic esthetic improvements without sensitivity or tooth structure loss.
If you have concerns about white spot lesions on your teeth or someone in your family’s, please give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists. We will evaluate the spots to determine the best course of action based on your unique needs and goals and put together a treatment plan that will make you smile.