Icon® is a revolutionary new procedure that can treat cavities in their earliest stages. Bridging the gap between prevention and restoration, Icon is an important new tool that can help protect your child’s teeth.
Traditionally, dentists have only had two ways to treat tooth decay: preventive and restorative. Fluoride treatments are used as a preventive measure that kills bacteria and protects your teeth from decay. However, fluoride cannot heal existing cavity lesions, which may get worse over time. Once a cavity grows too large, restoration is the only way to repair that damage. Your dentist will drill to remove the damaged area of the tooth and fill the empty cavity with metal or composite fillings.
Although fluoride and restorative treatments are both important tools for preventing and treating tooth decay, neither one is fully effective for treating cavities when they are still very small. Icon fills this gap by offering a way to treat cavities when they are just beginning to form.
How does Icon work?
When decay begins to eat away at the minerals in your tooth, creating small holes and lesions, Icon can help to stop the damage from getting worse. Icon is a cavity infiltrant that halts the cavity’s progress. It is a micro-invasive procedure that fills and reinforces tiny lesions in the tooth enamel, left by early stages of tooth decay.
- First, your dentist will apply a gel that erodes the surface of the cavity lesion, opening up the pore system to let Icon inside your tooth.
- Next, the pore system will be dried and prepared for treatment.
- Using an application aid, your dentist will apply Icon onto the body of the lesion. Icon penetrates the pores, filling the small gaps in your tooth structure.
- After removing any excess material, your dentist will seal the treated tooth with a special light.
The entire process takes about 15 minutes, from start to finish, and is painless.
Advantages of Icon Compared to Other Methods
FluorideTreatments: Fluoride treatments can help prevent tooth decay from starting. However, once the tooth becomes damaged, fluoride cannot repair the enamel. In the past, dentists could only “wait and see” whether the damage would stop or get worse. Icon provides a way to deal with cases of minimal damage before the patient requires a more invasive procedure.
Cavity Fillings: When your dentist drills a hole in your tooth to create a filling, it is almost impossible not to sacrifice some healthy tooth enamel. The Icon system preserves healthy enamel while filling the damage left by the tooth decay. Unlike a filling, the Icon process does not require any drilling or anesthesia. Instead, all of your healthy enamel is preserved, and Icon helps to reinforce the enamel and guard against further damage.
Enhanced appearance: Cavity lesions can leave ugly white spots on your teeth, which are often treated using micro-abrasion. Icon eliminates this extra step. After treating a cavity lesion with Icon, the area will take on the color and appearance of the surrounding tooth enamel.
Is Icon Right for Your Child?
Icon is a new micro-invasive procedure that can help preserve your child’s existing tooth enamel, and protect the tooth against further cavity damage. It can be beneficial when your child has early cavity lesions that are too small for fillings. However, it is not an effective treatment once the cavity grows larger. Dr. McGuire will talk with you about your child’s specific situation, to find the treatment plan that works best for you.