Performance of atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) depending on operator-experience.
Jordan RA, Gaengler P, Markovic L, Zimmer S.
Department of Operative and Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
Oral health care is not of major interest in developing countries because of lack of infrastructure and professional manpower. Therefore, atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) was introduced by the World Health Organization to be performed by dental auxiliary personnel. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of ART depending on operator-experience in The Republic of The Gambia.
One hundred twenty-eight newly inserted restorations were followed up for 12 months using the clinical ART index in a prospective and blinded study design. The patients were randomly assigned to operators. The clinical performance was compared among three groups: trainees, experienced Community Oral Health Workers (COHW), and professional dentists. The difference in success rates was calculated at a 95 percent confidence interval.
There was a statistically significant difference between trainees and dentists in performing leakage/gap-free one-surface restorations (P < 0.05). No significant differences were found between the two groups of auxiliaries (trainees versus experienced COHWs, P > 0.05). Finally, both groups--experienced COHWs and dentists--performed restorations not showing statistically significant differences (P > 0.05).
For The Republic of The Gambia--especially for areas with underdeveloped medical infrastructure--training and assignment to perform ART can be recommended for auxiliary dental staff of Community Oral Health Workers.