The practice of operative dentistry continues to evolve, to reflect the many changes occurring in society and in dental diseases and conditions. However, the belief that all questionable and early carious lesions should be restored still persists. This belief is largely based upon the concept that the removal of all carious tissue followed by meticulous restoration of the tooth is the treatment of choice for dental caries. Yet restorations are not permanent and do not cure caries, as the causes remain. On the other hand, preventive measures can remove or partially remove the causes, thereby reducing the risks for future caries recurrence at the same site or elsewhere in the mouth.