Purpose: The aim of the present study was to perform a review of the effects of infiltrants and sealers on the inhibition of enamel demineralisation. Materials and Methods: The authors searched the Cochrane Library, Embase, PubMed and Web of Science (ISI) for papers published between January 1970 and September 2008. The main search terms were ‘artificial caries or ‘caries treatment or ‘caries-like lesion or ‘white spot lesion or ‘enamel demineralisation or ‘natural caries and ‘enamel and ‘sealant or ‘resin infiltration. The inclusion criteria were studies that produced artificial non-cavitated enamel lesions before the application of sealant in in vivo or in vitro studies. Studies excluded were those that had not produced artificial non-cavitated enamel lesions before the application of sealant; had evaluated the inhibition of enamel demineralisation around restorations, sealant and orthodontic bracket/bands; had not evaluated the inhibition of enamel demineralisation after the sealant application; and had not applied sealant materials. Selected papers were given scores, from A to C, according to predetermined criteria. Results: Eighteen studies were identified and included in the project critical appraisal. Two papers were classified as Grade A, nine as Grade B and seven as Grade C. Conclusions: It can be concluded that while fissure sealing acts as a diffusion barrier on the top of the lesion surface, the infiltration technique creates a barrier inside the lesion by replacing the mineral lost with a low-viscosity light-curing resin.
Keywords: artificial caries, enamel, non-cavitated lesion, sealant