Minimal Intervention Dentistry: a patient-centered approach in managing dental caries – ADOHTA 2021

Minimal Intervention Dentistry: a patient-centered approach in managing dental caries

Professor Hien Chi Ngo


Dental caries is a major health burden to the community and its effect on the well-being of individuals cannot be underestimated. Its impacts include high financial burden, pain and suffering, impairment of function and lowering quality of life. The level of inequalities in accessing oral health care is unacceptably high in many countries.

Minimal Intervention dentistry has changed the way we manage dental caries and the FDI had issued three important policy statements on this topic:

  • Minimal Intervention in the Management of Dental Caries (2002),
  • Classification of Caries Lesions of Tooth Surfaces and Caries Management Systems (2012),
  • Salivary Diagnostics (2013).

It has now been clearly demonstrated that individuals can benefit substantially from the Minimal Intervention (MI) approach in managing dental caries. MI is based on a patient-centered non-surgical management of the disease and surgical repair of dental defects. When it comes to surgical repair, this should be done using Minimally Invasive techniques with the overall objectives being the preservation of tooth structure and tooth vitality.

This presentation will discuss the clinical applications of the MI philosophy in managing caries and identify areas which need further research.


Dr. Ngo has extensive experience in private practice, research and education.  For two decades, he was the principal of a dental practice located in the business district of Adelaide. He has maintained regular clinical sessions treating patients with advanced caries and erosion.

As an educator, he has published and lectured extensively on dental materials, Minimal Intervention dentistry and clinical cariology. He serves on the editorial boards of several dental journals. Over the last 15 years, he has been very active as an international speaker and have contributed to numerous major international meetings.

In research, he is active in the areas of dental materials and cariology, and his current focus revolves around the clinical management of caries, especially in the elderly and medically compromised patients and the interactions between glass-ionomers and the oral environment, and silver diamine fluoride.

He has been a technical consultant to several dental organisations and was co-inventor of several dental products.