Prevalence of noncarious cervical lesions among adults: a systematic review

Daniela Navarro Ribeiro Teixeira, Renske Z Thomas, Paulo Vinicius Soares, Marco S Cune, Marco M M Gresnigt*, Dagmar Else Slot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aims to systematically review the literature on noncarious cervical lesions (NCCLs) and calculate an overall prevalence estimate. Methods: The protocol of this systematic review was prepared according to PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines. The MEDLINE-PubMed and Cochrane-CENTRAL databases were searched. Relevant published papers that provided information regarding the prevalence or number of NCCLs among general or specific populations were included. Results: The initial search identified 569 titles and abstracts, 24 of which met the eligibility criteria involving 14,628 participants. The weighted mean prevalence of NCCLs among the whole studied population was 46.7 % (95 % CI: 38.2; 55.3 %), ranging from 9.1%–93%. Based on sub-analyses, studies with populations older than 30 years revealed higher weighted prevalence (53 %) than those with populations younger than 30 years (43 %). Regarding the diagnostic method, when visual or tactile clinical examination was used, the prevalence was lower than when the Smith and Knight tooth wear index was used. When different definitions were used, the weighted mean prevalence varied from 28 % to 62 %. As to the terms used to address the lesions, the prevalence was higher when “noncarious cervical lesion” was used and lower when “root defects,” “abrasion,” or “abfraction” were used. When geographical regions were compared, South America had the highest reported prevalence of NCCLs, while the United States had the lowest. Moreover, general populations presented the highest prevalence, slightly higher than dental populations, whose members frequented dental practices. Conclusion: The overall prevalence of NCCLs was 46.7 % and higher in older populations. Visual and tactile clinical examination underestimate this prevalence compared to the established index. The terms and definitions used also influenced the prevalence data. Distinct geographical differences were observed, and general populations were more inclined to present NCCLs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103285
Number of pages7
Early online date29-Jan-2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2020

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