Portrait of a female dentist wearing a surgical mask holding a dental drill.

Dental Drill? No Thanks!

Has your dentist ever told you that you have cavities and need fillings? Unfortunately, use of a dental drill is required prior to the insertion of a filling. The procedure involves the following:

  • Step #1: Affected tooth is drilled.
  • Step #2: Tooth decay is removed.
  • Step #3: Affected tooth is filled with restorative material.

The problem with this procedure is that some of the healthy tooth structure is sacrificed. Also, a dental filling does not last forever, and eventually will need to be re-done.

Preventing the Need for a Dental Drill

Close-up of a little boy opening his mouth during dental checkup, while the dentist is checking to see if a dental drill needs to be used.

You should consult with your dentist to see if a dental drill or other options are available to help you combat tooth decay.

There are options, other than a dental drill, to prevent tooth decay. We now know that early decay can be stopped from progressing, and then reversed by a process called re-mineralization. This process takes a lot of effort, as both dentist and patient need to work together and follow the recommended guidelines. Sometimes a dentist will recommend the “wait-and-see” approach to see what happens – whether cavities progress or re-mineralize.

Recently, a researcher discovered micro-invasive technology to fill and reinforce demineralized enamel, without drilling or anesthesia. The new infiltration concept, known as ICON, is a true breakthrough in restorative and operative dentistry. It is the first micro-invasive dental product designated for the treatment of white spot or incipient lesions – early enamel lesions.

This technology is now available to treat incipient lesions when discovered. They can effectively remove white spots on your enamel and halt early decay that has progressed up to the first third of dentin. ICON works by capillary action and is light cured to harden the resin after placement.

Traditionally, dental professionals had to “wait and watch” early decay, until they were big enough to use the drilling-and-filling technique. Using a dental drill is invasive, removes healthy tooth structure, and eventually needs to be re-done at some point. The new micro-invasive technology is usually effective after one visit to your dentist. The technology can be used on multiple teeth with no anesthetic required. Since no drilling is done, the procedure is painless for the patient. With this new breakthrough procedure, teeth last longer and are preserved for the future.


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