Nonrestorative Treatments for Carious Lesions Clinical Practice Guideline (2018)

Want to learn the most effective and safe ways to nonrestoratively treat a noncavitated or cavitated carious lesion in children and adults? Then this is the ADA guideline for you.

A panel of experts convened by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has developed clinical recommendations for the nonrestorative treatment of carious lesions, including the ADA's first-ever recommendations for silver diamine fluoride (SDF). This guideline is the first in a series of four guidelines that will focus on caries management. The other guidelines are scheduled to be published in the coming years and will focus on caries prevention, restorative treatments for carious lesions, and carious lesion detection and diagnosis.

Evidence-Based Resources

Use the clinician and patient tabs below to access the full guideline, chairside guides summarizing the guideline's recommendations for primary and permanent teeth, a "For the Patient" page that communicates the guideline's recommendations to patients, and much more.

For Clinicians
For Patients


Content on this page is for informational purposes only. It is based off of on the “Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline on Nonrestorative Treatments for Carious Lesions,” published in the October 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association. 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.

Clinical practice guidelines include recommendation statements intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options.