Minimal intervention: Early lesions

Graham J. Mount, Hien Ngo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The use of modified cavity designs for the treatment of initial carious lesions can be justified on the grounds that, because no restorative material can adequately replace natural tooth structure for the long term, preservation of natural tooth structure is important. It is apparent that it is possible to remineralize and heal demineralized tooth structure to some degree. Therefore, neither enamel nor dentin should be removed simply because it has lost calcium and phosphate ions as a result of acid attack. The older surgical approach to cavity design was adopted in the absence of adhesive techniques and on the basis of Black's principle of "extension for prevention," but this theory is no longer tenable. The current availability of adhesive bioactive restorative materials makes it possible to maintain areas of tooth structure even though they appear to be undermined and weakened. Thus, the concept of geometric designs for prescribed cavities is no longer valid. The purpose of this article is to describe a series of simplified, modified cavity designs for small initial lesions; preservation of natural tooth structure is the principle objective of these designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-546
Number of pages12
JournalQuintessence International
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes


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