First in Four-Part Caries Management Guideline Series Released

The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry has released an “Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline on Nonrestorative Treatments for Carious Lesions.” The guideline, which can be accessed at, is the first in a four-part series on caries management. For this series, the Council and the Center convened a panel of global dental experts to review the best-available scientific evidence and develop high-quality recommendations for managing caries.

The recently released guideline summarizes the most effective non- and micro-invasive treatments to arrest or reverse both noncavitated and cavitated carious lesions on primary and permanent teeth. It encompasses nine treatments, including, but not limited to, sodium fluoride varnish, sealants, resin infiltration, and silver diamine fluoride (SDF), across 11 recommendations. Furthermore, this guideline provides the first American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations on the use of SDF since the treatment was cleared for use as a desensitizing agent by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2014.

“This guideline series represents the first comprehensive evaluation of treatments for all phases of the caries disease process,” Dr. Rebecca Slayton, Chair of the Expert Panel, said. “With this first chapter, we hope and anticipate that the guideline’s decision pathways will guide clinicians and lead them to improved outcomes for patients.”

The Association will release the additional guidelines in the caries management series in 2019 (caries prevention), 2020 (restorative treatments for carious lesions) and 2021 (carious lesion detection and diagnosis). The guideline appears in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association and can also be accessed at

About the American Dental Association
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation’s largest dental association, representing more than 161,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public’s health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA’s flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website