Minimally Invasive Dentistry is the application of a systematic respect for the original tissue. This implies that the dental profession recognizes that an artifact is of less biological value than the original healthy tissue. Minimally invasive dentistry is a concept that can embrace all aspects of the profession. The common delineator is tissue preservation, preferably by preventing disease from occurring and intercepting its progress, but also removing and replacing with as little tissue loss as possible. It does not suggest that we make small fillings to restore incipient lesions or surgically remove impacted third molars without symptoms as routine procedures. The introduction of predictable adhesive technologies has led to a giant leap in interest in minimally invasive dentistry. The concept bridges the traditional gap between prevention and surgical procedures, which is just what dentistry needs today. The evidence-base for survival of restorations clearly indicates that restoring teeth is a temporary palliative measure that is doomed to fail if the disease that caused the condition is not addressed properly. Today, the means, motives and opportunities for minimally invasive dentistry are at hand, but incentives are definitely lacking. Patients and third parties seem to be convinced that the only things that count are replacements. Namely, they are prepared to pay for a filling but not for a procedure that can help avoid having one.
Keywords: caries, restoration failure, risk assessment, caries progression rate, introgenic effect, minimally invasive, lack of incentives