Is non-cavitated proximal lesion sealing an effective method for caries control in primary and permanent teeth? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Volume 42, Issue 10, October 2014, Pages 1217–1227



The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of sealing non-cavitated proximal caries lesions in primary and permanent teeth.


Only controlled clinical trials and randomized controlled clinical trials that evaluated the effectiveness of sealing on non-cavitated proximal caries with a minimum follow-up of 12 months were included in the study. The primary outcome should be arrestment/progression of proximal caries evaluated by bitewing radiographs. A risk of bias evaluation based on the Cochrane Collaboration common scheme for bias was carried out for each study. The meta-analysis was performed on the studies considered low risk of bias and with pair-wise visual reading results through RevMan software.


A comprehensive search was performed in the Systematic Electronic Databases: Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, IBI Web of Science, Lilacs, SIGLE, and on website Clinical, through until June 2013.

Study selection

From 967 studies identified, 10 articles and 3 studies with partial results were assessed for eligibility. However three articles were excluded and our final sample included 10 studies. According to the risk of bias evaluation, six studies were considered “high” risk of bias, and four “low” risk of bias. The forest plot of the meta-analysis showed low heterogeneity (I2 = 29%) and a favourable outcome for the Infiltrant. The chance of caries progression when this technique was used was significantly lower (p = 0.002) compared with Placebo.


Our results suggest that the technique of sealing non-cavitated proximal caries seems to be effective in controlling proximal caries in the short and medium term. Further long-term randomized clinical trials are still necessary to increase this evidence.

Clinical significance

Contemporary dentistry is focused in minimally invasive approaches that prevent the destruction of sound dental tissues next to carious lesions. This paper searches for evidence of the efficacy of sealing/infiltrating non-cavitated proximal caries in arresting caries progression both in permanent and primary teeth.


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