I consider myself a conservative dentist in recommendations that I give my patients. However, there is an intermediate position between simply “watching” conditions get worse and not doing any treatment, versus drilling them away. ICON resin infiltration is a tool in our toolbox that we can use for such a conservative approach.
ICON has been around for several years, long enough to have been used in many clinical situations and cited in countless dental journal articles. It is very conservative, in that it involves no drilling of tooth structure. It is best used for “early” decay, which is demineralization of the tooth that extends up to one third of the way into the core of the tooth, or decalcification of the enamel or “white spots” that are of aesthetic concern due to their frosty white appearance and can also lead to tooth decay in deeper layers over time. Such a scenario is commonly encountered in a teenager who has recently had his/her braces removed, only to be left with bright frosty white spots or squares on the front teeth where plaque had gathered and sat around the brackets and weakened the enamel.
The procedure for ICON only takes a few minutes and requires no numbing anesthetic. An etchant is applied to the enamel, followed by a drying primer, then the actual ICON resin solvent, which is allowed to soak into the enamel and then is set with an ultraviolet light. It’s quick, easy and painless, and can make a big aesthetic difference, while also sealing up weak enamel areas to prevent decay and drilling in the future.