When a tooth starts to decay, the tooth looses minerals in the affected area and gradually becomes weaker and weaker until a soft area or hole forms in the tooth – a cavity. Early tooth decay may be treated as an area to ‘watch’ by your dentist. As the tooth decay progresses, the tooth is usually treated by drilling out the weak area and restoring the tooth with a filling. There is now a way to treat early cavities WITHOUT drilling, and usually WITHOUT anesthetic! If a cavity occurs between two teeth – as they often do – the only way to treat the cavity or tooth decay is to grind away the tooth structure above the cavity and restore the whole side of the tooth.
In September 2009 DMG America came out with a new product for dentists known as ICON, My treatment assistant, Regina, shares this information:
ICON stands for infiltration concept.
Now dentists with the use of this new technology can treat incipient or early tooth decay upon discovery without waiting for the tooth decay to progress into the soft tooth stage when anesthetic and drilling of the teeth is required. The ICON treatment helps stop the progression of tooth decay when treated in the early stages. This increases the life expectancy for the tooth and is minimally-invasive. Previously dentists had to “wait and watch” until the cavity or tooth decay was big enough to justify drilling which sacrificed healthy tooth structure.
ICON works by placing a few solutions that spontaneous flow around the area being treated then hardened by a light which bonds the material to the tooth. The area is then evaluated annually with bite-wing x-rays. This same technique can be used to treat white spot lesions to stabilize the demineralized enamel area, and give teeth the appearance of the surrounding healthy enamel.
As always, yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis, DDS
Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health