Nonrestorative Management of Dental Caries

Dent J (Basel). 2021 Oct 18;9(10):121. doi: 10.3390/dj9100121.


The World Dental Federation (FDI) policy statement in 2016 advocated evidence-based caries-control measures for managing dental caries. The caries management philosophy has shifted from the traditional surgical manners to minimal intervention dentistry. Minimal intervention dentistry aims to extend the longevity of natural teeth. It places the nonrestorative approaches as a priority. The nonrestorative approaches for caries management aim to tackle the etiological factors of dental caries. Caries can be prevented or reversed by restricting the sugar intake and its frequency in the diet, improving oral hygiene practices, and using fluoride toothpaste. This article aims to present strategies for the nonrestorative management of dental caries, which are divided into four components to address the different etiological factors of dental caries. The first component is controlling dental plaque. Strategies for plaque control include oral hygiene instruction, motivational interviewing, mechanical plaque control, and chemical plaque control. The second component for nonrestorative management is reducing the risk of caries by identifying caries risk factors and protective factors, assessing personal caries risk, and customizing a treatment plan. Evidence-based measures for caries prevention include using fluoride, and dental sealants should be provided. The third component includes topical treatment to remineralise early carious lesions. The last component is long-term follow-up. Appropriate strategy adoption for the nonrestorative management of dental caries prolongs the life span of the teeth and sustains the good oral health of patients.

Keywords: caries management; caries prevention; dental caries; nonrestorative management.

Publication types

  • Review