The management of dental caries has traditionally involved removal of all soft demineralised dentine before a filling is placed. However, the benefits of complete caries removal have been questioned because of concerns about the possible adverse effects of removing all soft dentine from the tooth. Three groups of studies have also challenged the doctrine of complete caries removal by sealing caries into teeth using three different techniques. The first technique removes caries in stages over two visits some months apart, allowing the dental pulp time to lay down reparative dentine (the stepwise excavation technique). The second removes part of the dentinal caries and seals the residual caries into the tooth permanently (partial caries removal) and the third technique removes no dentinal caries prior to sealing or restoring (no dentinal caries removal). This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2006.