146 Fix White Spot Lesions

Fix White Spot Lesions

Sometimes, after orthodontic treatment, patients find that they are left with white spot lesions (WSLs) on their teeth. These spots are associated with subsurface enamel porosity, caused by a cyclical imbalance between the demineralization and remineralization of the enamel which is a direct result of poor oral hygiene that allows for an accumulation of plaque, bacteria, and acids.

Another form of this type of white spot is a congenital hypo calcified enamel lesion that is typically a result of trauma or infection involving the patient’s baby teeth that essentially bruises the enamel of their permanent teeth. The white appearance of both types of lesions is due to a scattering of light at the subsurface of the demineralized enamel.

Can white spot lesions be fixed?
Whitening products may help camouflage the appearance of white spots but it will not be a long-term solution. Icon resin infiltration is considered to be a long-term treatment option that can last for at least two years. Resin infiltration is a minimally invasive restorative treatment that penetrates demineralized enamel and fades the appearance of white spot lesions and congenital “hypo” spots.

How is icon resin infiltration performed?
Icon resin infiltration can usually be done in one visit and takes about 45 minutes to an hour. The patient does not have to have local anesthetic since no drilling is done. First, the teeth are cleaned with pumice, the same stuff your hygienist uses to polish your teeth! The lesions are then etched to remove the outer remineralized layer of enamel, which had been blocking calcium and other ions from entering the teeth. A finishing burr may be necessary for any surfaces that do not show an improvement in appearance before a drying agent is applied followed by the resin material.

The resin material is left to soak in for three minutes, allowing for capillary action. Excess material is then removed with cotton rolls, micro brushes, and floss. The resin is then cured with an ultraviolet light before the process is repeated, this time soaking for one minute. The excess material is removed and again cured with the ultraviolet light followed by a finishing polish with polishing discs or burrs. The gum tissue may become blanched during the procedure if lesions are particularly close to the gum line but this will heal in a few days.

Icon resin infiltration is a minimally invasive procedure that is much less costly than other restorative options such as composite fillings or porcelain veneers. Lesions treated with icon will whiten similarly to the natural tooth enamel for an all over even appearance of color. Spots treated with whitening products often come out looking worse than before whitening.

If your child has white spots on their teeth, they may feel self-conscious about their smile but icon resin infiltration is an easy way to bring back their confidence and help them shine bright!