Background: Enamel white spot lesions (WSLs), characterized by an opaque, matt, and chalky white appearance of enamel, are a sign of incipient caries. WSLs are common in orthodontic practice and can affect both the oral health and dental aesthetics of patients. Extensive studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention or treatment for orthodontically induced enamel WSLs. However, substantial heterogeneity has been found in the outcomes used for the prevention and treatment of WSLs in literature, which prevents researchers from comparing and combining the results of different studies to draw more decisive conclusions. Therefore, we aim to develop a Core Outcome Set for trials on the prevention and treatment of Orthodontically induced enamel White Spot Lesions (COS-OWSL).
Methods: The development of COS-OWSL comprises four phases: (1) a scoping review to identify and summarize all existing outcomes that have been used in trials on the prevention or treatment of orthodontically induced WSLs; (2) qualitative interviews with orthodontic patients without (for prevention) and with WSL-affected teeth (for treatment) and relevant dental professionals to identify additional outcomes relevant to them; (3) Delphi surveys to collect opinions from key stakeholders including patients, dental professionals, and researchers and to reach a preliminary consensus; and (4) a consensus meeting to develop the final COS-OWSL.
Discussion: The COS-OWSL will be developed to facilitate the synthesis of evidence regarding the prevention and treatment of orthodontically induced WSLs and to promote the consistent use of relevant patient-important outcomes among future studies in this field.
Trial registration: Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) initiative (the COS-WSL project) 1399.
- White spot lesion
- Core outcome set
- Clinical trials