The primary objectives of minimum intervention dentistry (MID) are to prevent or arrest active disease using non-operative management techniques. However, patients commonly present with cavitated caries lesions or failed restorations that are in need of operative intervention. Although much of clinical practice is devoted to preventing and managing the effects of caries and subsequent failure of the tooth-restoration complex, the clinical survival of restorations is often poor and becomes significantly worse as they increase in size and complexity. Minimally invasive (MI) restorative techniques present a range of well-documented advantages over more tissue-destructive traditional restorations by minimising unnecessary tooth tissue loss, insult to the dentine-pulp complex and reducing the risk of iatrogenic damage to adjacent hard and soft tissues. They also maximise the strength of the residual tooth structure by use of optimal adhesive restorative materials designed to restore function and aesthetics with durable, long-lasting restorations that are easy for the patient to maintain. In contemporary oral healthcare practice, if patients are to give valid consent for operative interventions, minimally invasive options must be offered, and may be expected to be the first choice of fully informed patients. This paper describes concepts of MID and provides an update of the latest materials, equipment and clinical techniques that are available for the minimally invasive restoration of anterior and posterior teeth with direct restorations.