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Alternative to the Dreaded Dentist’s Drill Could Open New (but Narrow) Dental Marketing Gateway

Two dental surgeons looking over patient

No-Drill Alternative: Only for Some Dental Caries

A lot of dental patients—maybe most of us—cringe at the sound of the dentist’s drill. But dental marketing and advertising professionals take note—a new treatment for incipient caries proposes a drill-less approach…at least for some patients and cases.

The good news is a “no drill” alternative treatment using an infiltrant—brand name Icon—targets intermediate-stage decay. According to the manufacturer, DMG America: “Caries infiltration is a breakthrough in micro-invasive technology that fills, reinforces, and stabilizes demineralized enamel without drilling or sacrificing healthy tooth structure. In just one patient visit, Icon can arrest the progression of early enamel lesions and remove white spot lesions.”

Later-stage cavities still require traditional treatment methods, so the dreaded dental drill will not be going away any time soon. Dental marketing and advertising for “no-drill” dentistry will need to be carefully qualified. “It is the first product to bridge the gap between prevention (fluoride therapy) and caries restoration. Icon’s micro-invasive infiltration technology can be used to treat smooth surface and proximal carious lesions up to the first third of dentin (D-1),” according to DMG.

This product—one of several new cavity treatments that avoid drilling—was developed in Germany and has been available in the US for just over a year, according to news items. And “while the no-drill approach to treating this type of tooth decay has promise, fluoride treatments and other patient-applied methods are still more inexpensive, less invasive and have a much longer track record of success.

Sources: NPR and LA Times articles.

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