This paper is part of a series of papers towards a European Core Curriculum in Cariology for undergraduate dental students. The European Core Curriculum in Cariology is the outcome of a process starting in 2006 and culminating in a joint workshop of the European Organisation for Caries Research (ORCA) together with the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) which was held in Berlin from 27 to 30 June 2010. The present paper covers decision-making and treatment with respect to surgical intervention. In particular, it will provide some background information on this part of the European Core Curriculum. Undergraduate dental education should enable the student to become a competent, skilful and caring dentist who is able, upon graduation, to take professional responsibility for diagnosis, as well as effective safe, and long-lasting care in the best interests of the patient. With respect to decision-making around surgical intervention for dental caries, several factors have to be considered. These include, patient needs, preventive strategies, tooth preservation, caries management success and failure rates, as well as short-term and long-term treatment costs. With respect to surgical intervention, manual skills at a high level are required. This is of crucial importance for the graduating dentist allowed to practise denistry in many EU countries.