By Martin Jablow, DMD

March 22, 2010 -- Q: What are your thoughts on the Icon system from DMG America? Does it really work?

A: Minimally invasive dentistry is here to stay. The Icon system from DMG America is a microinvasive technique for the treatment of minimally invasive caries without cavitation. It can be used both interproximally and on smooth surfaces. The idea being that the decay can be arrested and there would be no need for a restoration, so healthy tooth structure is preserved.

First the teeth are cleaned. For interproximal lesions, the teeth need to be separated, so a rubber dam is a must when using Icon. Then a specialized syringe is placed that will only dispense material on one side of the contact, protecting the other proximal surface. You then apply hydrochlorich acid for two minutes, followed by a 30-second rinse and air dry.

The next step is drying the lesion with ethanol so that the water in the lesion is removed. The ethanol is then removed with air. The next step is to apply the initial layer of infiltrant sealant for three minutes. The material is then light-cured from three sides. Another one-minute application of infiltrant is applied and light-cured. The carious lesion is now sealed. Once any excess is removed, the procedure is complete.

The studies I have read indicate that the procedure does indeed work. The procedure is not as simple as described, and I have not seen any studies about being able to bond to enamel after the use of Icon. Another issue is the amount of time necessary to apply the Icon sealant properly. Also, it is unclear if this treatment qualifies for insurance reimbursement.

A minipack that contains two treatment applications is available, should you desire to give Icon a try.

Lots more information and videos are available on the Icon Web site.

Martin Jablow, D.M.D., is a practicing dentist and a self-professed technophile who lectures and blogs on a variety of technologies used in dentistry ( If you have a technology question for Dr. Jablow, e-mail it to us at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2010


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