Resin infiltration effective on white-spot lesions

Resin infiltration -- a technique typically associated with the treatment of caries -- can significantly improve the clinical appearance of white-spot lesions following orthodontic treatment, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association (September 2013, Vol. 144:9, pp. 997-1005).

Resin infiltration involves applying a resin material to teeth to penetrate and fill the subsurface pore system of an incipient caries lesion to strengthen, stabilize, and limit the lesion's progression. Previous research has shown it can also mask visible white spots.

For this study, the authors -- a group of dental practitioners and academics from Oregon and Washington -- conducted a randomized, single-masked clinical trial with patients who had completed orthodontic treatment.

They divided the affected teeth into control and treatment groups. For the treatment group, they used resin infiltration to restore teeth that had white-spot lesions. They evaluated changes in white-spot lesions photographically by using a visual analog scale (VAS) (0 = no change, 100 = complete disappearance) and area measurements.

The mean VAS ratings for treated teeth demonstrated marked improvement relative to that for control teeth immediately after treatment (p < 0.001) and eight weeks later (p < 0.001), the study authors reported. The results for treated teeth showed a mean reduction in white-spot lesion of 61.8% immediately after treatment and 60.9% eight weeks later, compared with a -3.3% change for control teeth immediately after treatment and a 1% reduction eight weeks later.

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