Clinical Recommendations on Carious Tissue Removal in Cavitated Lesions

Falk Schwendicke, Jo Frencken, Nicola Innes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Non-cleansable carious lesions where sealing is no longer an option should be restored in the vast majority of cases. Prior to restoring the cavity, carious tissue removal is performed, mainly to increase the longevity of the restoration. Such removal, however, should not be conducted in a way that the vital pulp is harmed. This means that in teeth with shallow or moderately deep lesions, selective removal to firm dentine is recommended, while in deep lesions (radiographically extending into the pulpal third or quarter of the dentine) selective removal to soft dentine should be performed. In permanent teeth, stepwise removal is a possible alternative, while in primary teeth the Hall Technique can be considered too. To assess carious tissue removal, the hardness of the dentine should be the primary criterion. Moisture, colour, and additional parameters (like fluorescence of bacterial porphyrins, etc.) might be used, but should be critically evaluated towards their validity and patients' benefit. There is insufficient evidence to recommend a specific single carious tissue removal method. However, hand or chemomechanical excavation seem useful, as they reduce pain and discomfort during treatment. Current evidence also does not support any specific restoration material or (bonding) strategy for restoring cavities resulting from different carious tissue removal strategies. Prior to restoring the cavity, cavity disinfection is not recommended any longer.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCaries Excavation
Subtitle of host publicationEvolution of Treating Cavitated Carious Lesions
EditorsF Schwendicke, J Frencken, N Innes
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-318-06369-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-318-06368-4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Publication series

NameMonographs in oral science
ISSN (Print)0077-0892

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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