Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share

Caries Risk Assessment and Management

Key Points

  • Dental caries is defined as a “biofilm-mediated, sugar-driven, multifactorial, dynamic disease that results in the phasic demineralization and remineralization of dental hard tissues.”
  • The formerly practiced paradigm of “drill and fill,” that is drilling out pits and fissures or surgically removing decayed and diseased tissue and placing permanent restorations, does not address the full continuum of the caries disease process, including microbial activity and the balance between enamel remineralization and demineralization.
  • Systematic methods of caries detection, classification, and risk assessment, as well as prevention/risk management strategies, can help to reduce patient risk of developing advanced disease and may even arrest the disease process.
  • Introduction
  • Detection of Caries/Caries Classification and Risk Assessment Systems
  • Caries Prevention and Risk Management Strategies
  • ADA Position on Early Childhood Caries
  • References
  • ADA Resources
  • Other Resources
Topic last updated: June 9, 2021

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


Content on the Oral Health Topics section of is for informational purposes only.  Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.