ICON vs. Bonding

You have probably heard of dental bonding before, but have you heard of ICON? Both provide a similar aesthetic result but have different purposes. Dental bonding is quite common in cosmetic dentistry, and ICON is gaining steam.

About ICON

ICON Treatment is short for a caries Infiltration CONcept, and it is meant to treat post orthodontic white spot lesions on the teeth. A white spot lesion is a cavity in the very early stages before it gets too far into the tooth. Acid attacks from plaque on the teeth cause areas on the enamel to dissolve, and under the surface enamel, we start to see porosities. The minerals in saliva and the fluoride in toothpaste help to replace some, but not all, of the minerals lost during acid attacks. Over time, though, multiple acid attacks and attempts to remineralize the area result in the white spot lesion.

These lesions appear whiter than the surrounding enamel and are a source of embarrassment, especially for young adults who may have just had their braces removed. Since the braces are no longer a barrier to good oral hygiene, the lesions typically do not progress to an actual cavity, but they will stay white. ICON is a minimally invasive treatment that helps to correct white spot lesions to provide a more uniform appearance of color for the tooth. It’s important to note that ICON cannot be used for physical cavities, only white spot lesions.

About Dental Bonding

Cavities, chipped front teeth, gaps in between teeth, and discolorations are all great reasons to consider dental bonding. Bonding is a strong attachment of a tooth-colored material to the natural tooth. When a cavity has progressed past a white spot lesion, it means that it has entered deep into the enamel and/or into the underlying dentin, which is closer to the nerve of the tooth. It’s important to treat cavities because they can continue to spread further inside the tooth, causing a toothache. Cavities can also spread to nearby teeth. Dental bonding fills in the areas that have been infected by decay to make it smooth and whole again.

Another great use for dental bonding is to address minor cosmetic concerns. Some with gaps between the front teeth may consider bonding instead of requiring braces. Porcelain veneers are a beautiful way to correct discolorations on the teeth, but dental bonding is a more economical option when needed for small spaces.

Icon Resin Infiltration Orange CountyICON Benefits

The biggest advantage of using ICON to treat white spot lesions is that tooth reshaping and injections can be completely avoided. In other words, ICON is a less invasive option to treat white spot lesions. ICON instantly matches the shade of your teeth, and if you choose to whiten your teeth, ICON whitens like natural enamel. This is also a great option for teens who have just had their braces removed. Instead of going immediately for veneers or repeated whitening, ICON is a great option to start with.

ICON can only treat white spot lesions, not cavities or discolorations. The stability of the treatment is around 2 to 6 years or more. ICON may or may not cover the entirety of the white spot lesion, but it is one of the best choices available on the market.

Dental Bonding Benefits

Dental bonding is quite versatile and holds an irreplaceable position in dentistry. Bonding is more conservative than veneers, so addressing small gaps, minor chips, and discolorations in the front teeth makes perfect sense if you’d like same day results.

With proper care, dental bonding can last many, many years. Nightguards, proper oral hygiene, and avoidance of staining foods and drinks all contribute to the long life of dental bonding.

ICON vs. Bonding Processes

The ICON process starts by making sure the teeth are clean and free of any debris. Typically, scheduling a dental cleaning before this process helps it go smoothly. In lieu of anesthetic or tooth reshaping, air abrasion is sometimes used to be sure the tooth surface is primed and ready. An etchant is used to expose the underlying porosities in the enamel, then the flowable material is added and light cured to seal the porosities. When enough tooth-colored material has been added, a buffing instrument will be used to smooth and add shine the surface of your tooth.

The bonding process involves preparing the area to receive the tooth-colored material. Preparation will include removing decay (if applicable) and removing a small amount of enamel for the bonding to adhere to. An etchant cleans the tooth and creates tiny pores in the enamel. A bonding agent is then applied to the working area and light cured. The tooth-colored material is added to fill in the cavity or address the chip or gap. The bonding is smoothed and shined at the end.

ICON and bonding processes each serve specific uses within dentistry. Contact Dr. Desiree Yazdan in Newport Beach, CA to learn how she can create the beautiful smile you’re looking for.

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