St Lawrence Dentistry can now stop some cavities without the use of the dental drill.
This exciting process is called ‘Resin Infiltration’ and can be used for small cavities in between teeth. The product used to accomplish this process is simple to use and is called ‘ICON’ which stands for ‘infiltration concept’. Resin infiltration is where we replace lost tooth structure by infiltrating a fluid resin. This also arrests the demineralization process that was breaking down your tooth in the first place. It is so novel because it does not require anesthesia or any drilling on your tooth. If the filling is in a visible area you will not see the filling place because the resin added to your tooth has the same refractive properties as your tooth. The it amazingly blends in perfectly.
During the formation of a cavity an acid attack on a tooth causes calcium and phosphate to be leaked from the ‘hydroxyapatite’ layer of a tooth. This causes ‘white spots’ and ‘demineralisation’ of teeth. Eventually this leads to a cavitation or ‘cavity’ in a tooth. Icon works at this beginning incipient demineralized stage before they become full blown deep cavities.
Our goal at St Lawrence Dentistry is to try and prevent cavities in the first place. If you have high rate of demineralization Dr. Hawryluk can discuss with you different ways of remineralizing your teeth. There are brushing tools, diet modifications, higher fluoride tooth pastes, and products containing calcium and phosphate. Chlorhexidine rinses, fluoride gels and varnishes can all help. In particular, if our patients are at high risk of developing cavities we may recommend a fluoride varnish of 22,600ppm every 3-4 months as this has been proven to be of major benefit. Fluoride works because it changes the critical pH of the enamel. Hydroxyapatite is the main component of enamel and it will start to demineralize at a pH of 5.5 However, if a person is exposed to frequent fluoride, it becomes incorporated into the enamel to form fluoroapatite which is more resistant to demineralization. In fact, it will only start dissolving at a pH pf 4.5. In other words, in acidic attacks, teeth dissolution slows when it has been exposed to fluoride. This will become significant when treating teeth with the new ICON system.
The first step in treating tooth breakdown with ICON is applying a conditioner. This will open up the porosities in the affected area. Following this the area is completely dried out by ‘ICON Dry’ which is composed of ethanol. Drying creates the environment needed for the infiltrate to flow into the tooth by capillary action. This procedure can be used on both adult and children’s teeth. For cavities in between teeth we will need to make room to get the material in this confined area. Sometimes we may need to place something in between the teeth called an ‘orthodontic separator’ for a few day to the teeth are temporarily apart. Dr. Hawryluk will place a ‘foil’ in between the teeth which has porosities on one side. Initially the resin is applied to the area for 3 full minutes. Due to the high penetration coefficient it will flow into the affected. We will carefully monitor your teeth in the years to come to make sure no further breakdown has taken place.
The future it now for drill free repairing of teeth! If you live in the Mississauga area, St Lawrence Dentistry welcomes you to call our office to find out more about this revolutionary approach to dental cavities.