Many people suffer from pesky white spots on their teeth. It’s common and it’s nothing to worry about. But it can make you feel self-conscious about your smile and appearance. 

As a dentist, (and a person!) I think everyone should pursue a beautiful smile. Fortunately, thanks to new high-tech treatments, getting the smile of your dreams doesn’t have to be painful. 

There are great minimally-invasive whitening options available!

Oftentimes, patients come to see me because another dentist told them to bleach their teeth or spend a lot of money on veneers to fix the white spots on their teeth. I love giving second opinions and sharing my expertise. Working closely with my patients, I try to find the best possible option for their needs.

I’ve tried a variety of white spot treatments and until ICON, nothing was this reliable, non-invasive, and painless.

What are white spots and where do they come from?

White spots on teeth are caused by several factors, including fluorosis and demineralization. White spots may be seen from the time the tooth erupts into the mouth or may become apparent after orthodontic bracket removal. 

Fluorosis is caused by too much fluoride being deposited on the teeth during development. The teeth erupt with white or even brown spots on their surfaces. Demineralization of tooth structure may be caused by bacteria, nutritional deficits, and some medications taken while teeth are developing. 

Everyone’s mouth is full of bacteria! Most are harmless, but the cavity-causing bacteria love to grow in highly acidic environments created after eating food. This makes brushing after meals very important. Braces and dental appliances make brushing in those hard-to-reach areas difficult. As bacteria accumulate around the glued brackets and prosthetics, demineralization occurs and white spots form.

White spots can also form as a result of nutritional deficits. If you’re not getting enough of the minerals which strengthen enamel, your teeth can weaken and white spots can result. People who have celiac disease and can’t eat gluten often get white spots because they have issues absorbing minerals through digestion.

Some medications, particularly antibiotics, cause white spots to form in areas of enamel development. This is especially common in children and pregnant women because as teeth are developing in the baby/child, any interruption in the process may harm proper enamel production.

What is ICON and how does it work?

ICON is a revolutionary treatment to treat white spots at any point of their development. It can be used to help both children and adults who were born with these white spots and for those who developed white spots after orthodontic treatment. 

  • NO DRILL – Is it even possible? YES!
  • NO PAIN – Can it be? YES!

ICON is an ADA-approved micro-invasive dental treatment to remove white spots in as little as 15-30 minutes. 

ICON works by opening the pores of the tooth enamel. This lets us dry the white spots out and fill them in with a material perfectly matching the natural color of your teeth. ICON also prevents against future white spots and even makes your teeth stronger than they were before!

Benefits of ICON

  1. Stops cavities in their tracks
  2. NO drilling & NO pain
  3. Promotes long-lasting and healthy tooth structure
  4. Very comfortable!
  5. Can be combined with teeth bleaching treatments for exceptional results
  6. See for yourself!

    This is a before & after photo showing how ICON helped removed white spots from this person’s teeth!

    Schedule your appointment today

    If you want to know if ICON is right for you, call (212) 838-0842 for more information and say good-bye to white spots forever!

We put a premium on the value of a beautiful smile. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, everyone definitely wants teeth that are perfectly straight! Straight teeth are a HUGE request in dental offices across the United States.

Personally, I had metal braces as a child, as did many of my friends growing up. In those days, parents were trained to take their kids to an orthodontist as part of their dental care. Straight teeth were and are definitely the norm in the US. Beyond aesthetics, straight teeth provide for better hygiene and fewer cavities. They also increase oral volume and airflow which reaps systemic benefits throughout a person’s life.

No time to read the entire post? Here’s everything you need to know:

  1. I became Invisalign-certified in 2004, but was disappointed with its inconsistent results.
  2. New technology has greatly improved Invisalign and I now recommend it wholeheartedly.
  3. I’ve used Invisalign myself and my daughter will be starting it soon, too.
  4. Smile Direct Club and Candid are new DIY clear braces by mail services. Without the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist, you’re putting your health at risk.
  5. Call (212) 838-0842 to schedule your Invisalign consultation.

Technology changed how we straighten teeth

The advent of digital technology over the last 15 years has opened the door to easier and more predictable ways to achieve a straighter and healthier smile. Gone are the days of ugly metal brackets and painful monthly dental appointments.

So what changed?

Invisalign came around in 1997, offering clear removable aligners that gently reposition and straighten teeth. The first set of aligners were available to the public in 2000 and offered a more comfortable and effective way to straighten teeth. The first system focused on adult teeth and gave people the option of having healthier smiles in a more cosmetic and private way. The aligners were clear and couldn’t be seen by the average person.

The early days of Invisalign

After finishing my dental residency in 2004, I dove into earning my Invisalign certification.
Once I completed some intense orthodontic lectures, I was ready to start my first few Invisalign cases. At the time, I was practicing in Gramercy Park as an associate dentist. I completed a total of 10 cases during those first 2 years.

The outcomes were not where they are today.

The results were not as predictable as the technology suggested. The success of the aligners were dependent on the patient being very compliant and wearing Invisalign consistently for 20-22 hours a day.

I had patients lose trays, have their dog chew them, and just down right not wear them or put in the wrong sequence.

The exorbitant lab bill and lack of consistent results led me to stop doing Invisalign for a few years after. I didn’t want to charge patients for a service that, from my point of view, wasn’t delivering. Plus, I wasn’t an orthodontist who could tweak things using traditional braces and adjustments.

Invisalign comes into its own

I watched and waited as the technology of 3D printing improved. Finally, I decided to give Invisalign another try in 2016.

I couldn’t be happier with the results and outcomes.

Invisalign has truly evolved into an amazing resource for discreet and comfortable tooth movement. The aligners use 3D scanning and printing technology to create a virtual image of your mouth. It’s awesome!

What you’ll get with Invisalign

  • The Clincheck system then allows you to see the before and after of your smile transformation along with all the steps along the way.
  • Your aligners are numbered and your dentist can track your wear to ensure best results.
  • Each set of aligners is worn for 7-10 days for 20-22 hours and is easy to clean.
  • Believe it or not, hygiene actually improves for most patients as they’ll be more conscientious about taking care of their teeth.
  • You’ll be given a few sets of aligners at a time so you don’t have to schedule as many trips to see your dentist.

What you won’t get with Invisalign

Pain and mouth sores from traditional metal braces and brackets are inevitable. Plus you’ll be on a variety of food restrictions to avoid damaging your braces. With clear aligner technology like Invisalign, these problems are a thing of the past.

No pain, all gain!

My personal Invisalign experience

I recently treated myself with Invisalign and was really pleased with the results. No one was able to see them in my mouth and I experienced no pain or discomfort when changing aligners. This is nothing like my experience with traditional braces.

As my own guinea pig, I was able to really share in the experience with my patients.

What about Smile Direct Club or Candid?

A few patients have recently bought up the DIY aligners heavily marketed on television, radio, social media, podcasts, and in print.

The 2 main contenders are Smile Direct Club and Candid.

They offer similar services without the guidance of a dentist/orthodontist. Smile Direct was the first of the DIY aligner companies and like Candid offers consumers a mail order impression kit to take their own models, which get mailed and reviewed by an orthodontist.

A treatment plan is formulated and if a consumer accepts it, trays are mailed directly to the consumer to be worn on their own without guidance from a dental provider.

The company focuses on marketing the simplicity of use and lower cost.

I believe tooth movement and one’s occlusion (bite) are nothing to be played with. For every dollar you may save now, you will pay infinitely more to fix damage to your TMJ and bite.

Until recently, Invisalign owned shares of Smile Direct and was milling the aligners for them in their facility using the older Invisalign technology which I can attest was an inferior product.

As a dentist, I am occasionally asked about these companies, especially now that they have beautiful storefront retail spaces very close to my home and office in NYC.

I tell consumers to be careful as DIY orthodontics is a risky game to play.

The DIY aligners are for simple and moderate cases and offer no way of checking if the teeth are moving correctly and not harming your functionality and periodontal health. I currently have no patients using them.

Most people who are seeing a dentist regularly value professional supervision and expertise. The DIY aligners market to people who do not see a dentist regularly and often don’t want to. They also target people who want to save on healthcare and don’t value the role of a dental provider.

The long-term effects of the DIY aligner movement are hard to evaluate as of yet because the dental damage doesn’t happen right away. Improper movement of teeth can cause TMJ problems, airway problems, bite issues, and periodontal issues.

Live a healthy & happy life

I am an advocate of healthy living and getting the best quality of care in every aspect of your life. Seeing a dental provider, whether a dentist or orthodontist, is imperative when you’re thinking about straightening your teeth.

I really value Invisalign and their products. Their retainers (essential for maintaining your straight smile) are excellent and they are constantly working on improvements to their product.

What about Invisalign for teenagers?

Unlike the DIY clear braces kits, Invisalign offer aligners to teens. They have even released a light treatment which speeds up the movements — great for teens who may not have the patience for a long treatment program.

My daughter is starting Invisalign teen soon. While I have not tried the light yet, I am looking forward to learning more about it.

Is Invisalign for you?

When it comes to straightening teeth, my advice is to not skimp out on the highest level of care. If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign, schedule your appointment today. Let’s talk about giving you the smile you’ve always wanted!

You only get one set of teeth. Cherish them for the work they do to keep you healthy!

​Several years ago it was found that Bisphosphonates had a major impact on the
mouth specifically to the bone around the teeth and making up the jaw. They are commonly prescribed for osteoporosis. Patients were warned to tell their dental provider of their use because they often led to problems after teeth extractions.

With the popularity of Invisalign and Clear Correct, a new issue was addressed for patients who are on these therapies. Will the tooth movements and bone needed to remodel around the teeth be affected similarly to patients requiring extractions?

The answer, thankfully is that there is no correlation between taking these meds and the ability to have any kind of tooth movement from clear aligners to more traditional braces. This allows dentists to freely treat patients with braces/clear aligners without being worried that the teeth will shift back or damage will be done to the bone holding the teeth!!!

​I’ve had countless patients come in complaining of white spots on their teeth especially after removal of braces. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a great alternative for the their removal without drilling and tooth structure removal. I tried a few products and finally came across a product which showed promise and was a conservative, painless way of treating the affected tooth structure.

It is called ICON treatment. It is a resin infiltration that “fills in” the de-calcified areas leading to the white spots. I haven’t been this excited about an easy procedure with impressive results in a long time. It uses micro-invasive technology to treat smooth surface and proximal cavities. I recently used it on my office manager’s white spots on her two front upper teeth, with impressive results.

The whole procedure took less than 45 minutes with NO pain and No downtime and most importantly…NO Drilling.

Almost daily, I am asked about teeth bleaching and the potential damage to enamel which is a myth that continues to haunt our profession. I bleach my teeth professionally and would never recommend a product that I never tried on my own teeth. Over using a bleaching product past its recommended dosage, like medication, can be harmful. I recommend asking your dentist for the wide array of products and what he/she prefers and uses themselves.

Professional bleaching is any bleaching product sold at a dental professionals’ office under the supervision of a dentist or dental hygienist. It is usually a stronger formulation of the over the counter staples such as Crest white Strips.

Currently, our office offers Opalescence take home kits which are a milder way to try bleaching. They are worn for 30-45 minutes and thrown out after use. Usage varies from 4-10 days depending on the results you are aiming to achieve.

The next level of bleaching is to have trays made custom for your mouth. The trays hold bleach and for those sensitive patients, can also hold fluoride gel. These trays are worn an hour a day for 7-10 days.

The final level of bleaching is In-Office procedures which consist of a patient having bleaching done while in the dental chair. Bleach is applied and a light catalizes the process (ZOOM). Newer systems are light free and are a personal favorite of mine (BOOST). The procedures and chairside time vary from 15-45 minutes.

With all these options, its a guarantee that you can find a SAFE product that will brighten your pearly whites by New Year!!!