What is Icon Resin Infiltration?

Dentists are constantly looking for new and better ways to help their patients. Icon resin infiltration allows us to treat post-orthodontic white spot lesions in a minimally invasive manner, making it the perfect alternative to composite veneer restorations.

What is Icon?

Icon resin infiltration was first described 40 years ago. The optical properties of it are similar to those of natural enamel, so it matches the natural shade of the tooth.

Icon resin infiltration is a minimally invasive restorative treatment for post-ortho white-spot lesions (WSLs) and certain congenital hypo-calcified enamel lesions (“hypo” spots). These “spots” occur from a cyclical imbalance between demineralization and remineralization of the enamel, usually caused by poor hygiene practices. Over time, the associated plaque, bacteria and acids build up and lead to the lesions because the remineralization at the outer surface of the tooth decreases the access of calcium and other ions to deeper portions of the enamel.

The reason behind their white color is because there is a scattering of light at the subsurface of the demineralized enamel. Hypo spots, or enamel bruising, are congenital enamel defects often caused by trauma or infection involving the primary teeth.

The Procedure

The treatment for Icon resin infiltration is minimally invasive and can be completed in one visit. There are no shots or numbing because it is not painful. A plain pumice is used to clean the teeth by etching the lesions. The etching removes the outer remineralized layer of enamel that had previously been blocking calcium and other ions from entering the tooth.

After they etch the tooth, they put a finishing bur on any surfaces that do not indicate an improved appearance. Then, a drying agent (ethanol) is applied. Once the tooth is dry, then begins the application of the resin infiltrant. The material soaks in for three minutes to allow for capillary action. The excess material is removed with cotton rolls, micro-brushes and floss. The material is lightly cured, and more material is added for one minute. Again, the excess is removed and cured. Once all of this is complete, the tooth is finished with polishing discs or burs. This entire process takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.


This treatment is much less invasive and expensive than other alternatives such as fillings or veneers. It can also be done sooner than other cosmetic options like veneers where you have to wait until growth is complete. If left untreated, hypo spots often look worse after bleaching. When they are treated with Icon, hypo spots will whiten similarly to the natural tooth enamel.

Even if these lesions are treated, in some small cases the spot does not disappear completely. The worst case scenario would be there is no change in appearance. In most cases, it provides a significant cosmetic improvement in one simple, painless visit. Contact one of our offices today to learn more.

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