If you have white spots on your front teeth we know that they can be frustrating and you often find yourself wishing that they were not there. We know this because our own doctor, Dr. Kalantari has up until now lived with such spots across his front teeth. Even as a dentist himself, he found himself struggling with ways to make these spots go away. Luckily, we are living in an age of dentistry where new procedures and technology are readily being developed and patients are beginning to have more choices than ever before! One specific area that up until now had limited treatment options was the presence of such white spots on teeth. White spots on teeth, many appearing on front teeth, can occur for a variety of reasons. The white, and sometimes even yellow, spots can occur from enamel disruptions due to nutrition abnormalities, medication effects, virus and illness aftereffects, over fluoridation, or even the result of decalcification of the enamel that surrounded orthodontic braces. In the past, options were mostly divided into two categories - 1) leave it be and live with it - or 2) drill down the tooth in order to place something such as a tooth veneer or crown to mask the discoloration. But now there is a new, conservative way to treat these white spot areas on your teeth!
Decalcification After Braces: What To Know And How To Fix It
Were you one of the many people that was left with white areas on your teeth after getting your orthodontic brackets removed? So many people go through years of braces treatment to get straight teeth yet end up with surprise discoloration underneath once the braces are removed. There are many reasons for this but the likely main reason is that while the braces were on, high levels of plaque surrounded the brackets and over time the enamel began to weaken and become decalcified. Some milder spots can get better with time and things such as specialized recalcification tooth pastes (MI Paste, MI Paste +, Recaldent); however more extensive areas require dental treatment to recalcify. Keep reading to see what that new, conservative dental treatment is!
Can I Just Use Bleach To Remove White Spots On My Front Teeth?
Some patients are always surprised by the fact that these spots are not able to be "bleached" away. When you use traditional bleaching strips or trays the entire surface of the tooth is bleached and whitened. This means that both the discolored area and the normal enamel is bleached at the same time, thereby lightening both areas which will leave the tooth still having a color discrepancy. For example, imagine that you have two shirts that you intend to bleach - one is black and one is red. No matter how much bleach you wash these shirts in, will they ever match their color? The answer of course, is that although both will become lighter, they will only lighten in their respective colors (black and red) and will not ever perfectly match each other. To treat these problem areas the focus must be on restoring the enamel of just the discolored area in order to match the appearance of the healthy enamel and up until now this was a tricky thing to achieve. Luckily, there is a somewhat easy fix to this problem!
ICON Resin Infiltration Procedure: A New Method
The new technique being alluded to here is called Icon Resin Infiltration and the innovative product is able to infiltrate the enamel in a way that plugs up enamel defects with a tooth colored material and seals up the surface to create a smooth area that becomes less prone to stain and discoloration. The procedure will allow the discolored portions of the enamel to blend in more to the surrounding enamel color. The steps in this procedure involve cleaning the teeth, and placing a few products upon the surface, nothing terribly invasive. In some cases where the defects are more pronounced slight abrasion of the enamel is required to produce a more esthetic result. Even with some abrasion, the procedure still allows a patient to maintain their natural tooth structure and avoid things such as dental crowns and veneers! Majority of patients will see a dramatic immediate improvement, while some areas may not disappear completely, most teeth will have a much better esthetic appearance leaving you flashing that beautiful smile much more often! And you haven't even heard the BEST part yet... the biggest advantage to this treatment is the fact that it is non-invasive so there is little to no drilling required and no anesthetic is needed!
In summary, this one hour in office procedure can help to eliminate or improve the appearance of white spots on teeth. These white spots can be present for various reasons as noted above. The results are unfortunately not guaranteed, however it is an extremely conservative option that anyone can try, even children. Results of stability vary just as other esthetic procedures (such as tooth bleaching) do. If this procedure does not produce the intended results, your dentist can always review with you what other options are available.
Pictured below are some of our results from our own patients (including our very own Dr. Kalantari) as well as a video to show you how easy this procedure is!
ICON Resin Infiltration: Real Results
Are you interested in seeing how Sunshine Smiles can help you eliminate your tooth discoloration in this manner? Please be sure to give us a call today at (949) 951-0951 so we can schedule you a free consultation to let you know if this is the right procedure for you! If you are not in the Southern California area, ask your local dentist if they are familiar with the Icon Resin procedure!
Want to see and learn more? A friend and colleague, Dr. Jeanette MacLean has been performing the ICON procedure in her office for over two years and has several photos to view showing the results she has been able to produce. Dr. MacLean is also a fellow advocate for conservative, minimally invasive dentistry and she is currently a leader in this field!
About The Author:
Dr. Mikaeya Kalantari has been a practicing pediatric dentist for over 7 years working in both the children's hospital setting and private practice. She has had a wealth of experience treating children of all ages, and medical conditions. When it comes to serving children, she feels the importance of communication between the dentist and parent can not be emphasized enough. Dr. Kalantari practices in her family owned dental office in Mission Viejo, California.