The replacement of a restoration is one of the most common procedures in dentistry. However, the criteria for such intervention, excluding catastrophic failure and persistent discomfort and pain, continue to be the subject of considerable debate. The decision-making process remains subjective on the part of the treating clinician, while the evidence base for refurbishment and repair rather than replacement for the management of defective and failing restorations continues to grow and strengthen. This article, prepared as an Academy of Operative Dentistry European Section consensus publication, reviews existing criteria for the replacement of restorations and encourages practitioners to shift, if not already doing so, to considering the replacement of a restoration as a last resort rather than as a prudent action to be taken if in any doubt about clinical acceptability. Further research in the area, spanning the risk assessment of defective and failing restorations and new diagnostic tools and processes, together with work to enhance the evidence base of restoration repair vs replacement, would be of immense value.