What are white spots and why do they appear?

White spots are areas of porous demineralised enamel. Such enamel has a different appearance and a weaker and more porous structure which manifests as chalky white rougher areas on a tooth. This mostly occurs on incisors and molars as part of Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH).

It is caused by poor oral hygiene and plaque accumulation or as a result of developmental disorders occurring during enamel mineralisation.

Due to this weaker structure these areas are susceptible to cavities and damage to the tooth surface itself, and this is the reason why it is a good idea to rehabilitate these teeth. Tooth sensitivity also occurs with cold drinks, breezes or when eating food that is warmer or colder than the tooth itself.

Sometimes it may appear that some stains are more pronounced than usual and this is a result of additional dehydration to the tooth structure itself. This is noticeable after you have spoken a lot, slept with your mouth open or when the body is dehydrated.

Removing white spots

White spots can be removed in a very simple way by infiltrating the ICON system resin.

The procedure itself in non-invasive, most often does not require abrasion, it is short and produces highly effective results. Anaesthesia is not necessary. If there are defects in the enamel surface then a drop of liquid filler is added to level and complement this area.

Removal procedure

  1. Cleaning and sandblasting of the tooth’s surface and isolation of the gums;
  2. Treatment of the surface with a preparation that is applied only to white spots for a few seconds, and.
  3. Once the ‘pores’ of the white spot have been ‘opened’ a preparation is applied that infiltrates the porous areas like a resin. Ain this way the structure has been filled, it changes and becomes part of the enamel of the rest of the tooth, which manifests in decreased whiteness, i.e. colour equalisation across the surrounding enamel.

The procedure takes around 15 minutes per tooth.

The ICON system solves the problem and helps avoid more aggressive methods, such as composite fillings or veneers, which require teeth abrasion.

During this procedure the patient’s mouth is open to enable the enamel to dry but this causes dehydration of the entire tooth enamel. For this reason, the results of this therapy appear better the day after this procedure has taken place as the tooth has had time to rehydrate.