Minimally invasive intervention for primary caries lesions: Are dentists implementing this concept?

M. Laske, N.J.M. Opdam, E.M. Bronkhorst, Jozé C.C. Braspenning, W.J.M. van der Sanden, M.D.N.J.M. Huysmans, J.J.M. Bruers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Contemporary minimally invasive treatment concepts for restorative treatment of primary caries lesions include both delayed intervention and smaller-sized preparations restricted to removal of carious tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these concepts have resulted in a trend towards a more conservative choice made by dentists regarding treatment thresholds and restorative techniques. The results from previously conducted, precoded questionnaires developed by Espelid and Tveit, as well as from a recent Dutch questionnaire, were collected and analysed. A worldwide trend towards more minimally invasive strategies in the operative treatment of caries lesions could not be observed, neither for the initiation of operative treatment nor for the preparation techniques. However, in some countries, changes over time could be assessed, especially in Norway, where a reduction in the proportion of interventions is visible for both occlusal and approximal lesions, indicating that more dentists are postponing interventions until the lesions have progressed to a deeper level. From the Dutch national survey, it could be concluded that operators that intervene at an earlier stage of approximal lesioning (stage ≤4) also intervene at an earlier stage of occlusal caries (stage ≤3) (p = 0.012; OR = 2.52; 95% CI: 1.22-5.22). Generally, it can be concluded that dentists worldwide still tend to operatively intervene at a too early stage of caries, although variations exist between countries. A worldwide shift could be observed in the restorative material applied, since composite resin has almost completely replaced amalgam for restoring primary caries lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-216
Number of pages13
JournalCaries Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


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