White spot lesions
: diagnosis and treatment : a systematic review

  • Teresa Pinheiro de Carvalho (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: Dental caries is one of the world's most prevalent pathologies and its first stage appears as a white spot lesion. It is important to know its activity and the differential diagnoses in order to be able to act in a timely manner. Thus, there are several ways to diagnose an injury and several clinical approaches to its treatment. Objectives: Knowing how to identify a white spot and ensuring correct and effective treatment is essential to achieve clinical success. The aim of this study is related to a previously established PICO(S) question: “Do new diagnostic tools have the potential to change the conventional treatment of white spots?”. Materials and methods: A systematic search of available studies in the literature was carried out in Pubmed and Scopus electronic databases and manually to identify relevant articles. Results: The systematic literature search identified 143 potentially relevant references, which after applying the exclusion criteria, resulted in only 22 articles. Regarding diagnostic methods, most articles found were based on visual examination (10) or fluorescence (7). The least referenced techniques were based on the use of clinical photographs (2), cross-sectional microradiography (1) and computed microtomography (1). The use of DIAGNOdent was reported by 3 studies. Regarding therapies, most studies reported the use of infiltrating resin (7) and fluoride-based products (5). Other studies have reported the use of SAPP11-4 (1), home care (1), CPP-ACP (2) and HCL (1). Combination therapies were considered: 2 studies reported the use of fluoride varnish, 2 studies used infiltrating resin and fluoride varnish, and one study reported the use of a combination of fluoride varnish and chlorhexidine. Conclusion: The chosen diagnostic tool does not have the potential to change the form of treatment, whether it is a conventional method or a differentiated one.
Date of Award25 Jul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorAnna Moura (Supervisor), Maria José Correia (Co-Supervisor) & Pedro Lopes (Co-Supervisor)


  • White spot lesion
  • Dental caries
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment


  • Mestrado em Medicina Dentária

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