“What’s the cause of white spots in people’s teeth? I don’t have any but just a question.
UCLA School of Law
J.D. Candidate, c/o 2012”
Now that we have discussed some of the causes… lets look at our possible solutions. Depending on the severity of the white spots the first option is always no treatment. These can be minor and hardly noticable to the untrained eye, so if its not bothering you – chances are its not bothering anyone else. Obviously, some white spots can be part of ongoing dental disease (i.e. the beginning of a cavity). If this is the case a ‘filling’ needs to be done. Today we use tooth colored materials that look identical to the natural enamel, so even if its on a front tooth we can simply ‘fill’ the damage by ‘bonding’ our tooth colored composite in place. Take a look at this patient that I just treated… Be sure to click on the photos so you can zoom in and see the fix up close….
in her case we were able to smooth off the white spots on one tooth without doing anything else. On the other front tooth we had more significant damage so the tooth was rebuilt (by me) with layers and multiple colors of composite resin bonding to give a natural look. In cases that are more extensive or severe (commonly on multiple teeth caused by poor dental hygiene during braces) we can talk about porcelain veneers. This is reserved for those who are unhappy with the shape and color of their teeth & would like to “hit 2 birds with one stone” by eliminating white spots and changing their tooth form and coloration. There are also some other techniques that have inconsisent results… Muriatic Acid is one, but most commonly we can first try to simply whiten your teeth; See my blog about “Getting your smile ready for summer (raising your dental IQ Part I)” .
A comment by the great Dr. James Drake on our Facebook page that “ICON works well for some. Not a big fan of trying it interproximal but on facials it seems great” brought up a great discussion. There is a product from DMG America which takes some previously known techniques and nicely “packages” them into a system they call ICON:
“Icon, a caries infiltrant that works by capillary action, is an entirely new, revolutionary approach to treating white spot lesions as well as incipient (or early) dental caries. Previously, dental professionals had only more invasive options for treating anterior tooth discoloration that could not be eliminated by tooth whitening, including microabrasion, veneers, and bonding. Caries infiltration is a major breakthrough in micro-invasive technology that fills, reinforces, and stabilizes demineralized dental enamel without drilling or sacrificing healthy tooth structure. ”
At the end of the day, you need to have someone you trust who is open-minded to all the potential techniques available. That person, your dentist, will explain the options & should give you their professional opinion. Each case is distinct & (if your dentist keeps up to date with the latest technology) you’ll be in good hands.