Perspectives of Orthodontists of the Diagnosis, Prevention, and Management of White Spot Lesions: A Qualitative Study

J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2022 Jan 29;12(1):117-125. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_236_21. eCollection 2022 Jan-Feb.

Abstract

Aims: Several factors influence the development of white spot lesions (WSLs), and one of these is fixed orthodontic appliances. This study aims to evaluate the awareness, preventive strategies, and management of WSLs among a group of Orthodontists.

Materials and methods: A qualitative methodology was applied; four focus groups made up a purposive sample from Orthodontists with various training backgrounds while working within the same healthcare services.

Results: Three main themes emerged: awareness and ability to diagnose WSLs, perceived influences on the development of WSLs, and prevention and management strategies and barriers to care delivery. All focus groups agreed that there is a need for continuous prevention and preventive strategies of WSLs, particularly among orthodontic patients. There was also a consensus that orthodontic treatment should be delayed until WSLs are managed appropriately.

Conclusions: Within the limitation of this study, WSLs were collectively agreed to be a significant issue during fixed orthodontic therapy, and continuous professional development for Orthodontists should include risk factors evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and management of WSLs.

Keywords: Orthodontic appliance; preventive; qualitative analysis; white spot lesions.