Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1998 Dec;26(6):372-81.
ART restorations and glass ionomer sealants in Zimbabwe: survival after 3 years.
Frencken JE, Makoni F, Sithole WD.
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. email@example.com
Atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) consists of removing demineralised tooth tissues with hand instruments only, restoring the prepared cavity and sealing the adjacent pits and fissures with an adhesive filling material. This relatively painless, no-handpiece, minimal intervention approach to controlling dental caries is described. ART was applied in an oral health care programme in Zimbabwe that was carried out amongst secondary school students from 1994 to 1997. A new glass ionomer (Fuji IX) was used as the restorative and sealant material. Sealants were placed in high caries risk students using the 'press-finger' technique. A total of 297 one-surface ART restorations and 95 glass ionomer sealants were placed in 142 and 66 students, respectively. After 3 years, the lost-to-follow-up percentages for one-surface ART restorations and glass ionomer sealants were 30.6% and 30.5%, respectively. Actuarial (life table) analysis resulted in 3-year survival rates of one-surface ART restorations of 88.3% (95% CI: 92.4%-84.2%), ranging from 94.3% to 65.4% per operator. A total of 28 ART restorations placed in 25 students failed. Reasons for failure related to the material and the operator (11 restorations or 5.3% each), and to caries adjacent to the restoration (one restoration or 0.5%). Reasons for failure were not recorded for five restorations (2.3%). Sealants were placed on surfaces diagnosed as early enamel lesions. After 3 years, 71.4% (95% CI: 81.7%-61.1%) of the fully and partially retained sealants survived with a range of 100% to 55.6% per operator. Of the sealed surfaces 96.3% (95% CI: 100%-92.2%) survived 3 years without developing caries. Experienced operators placed better ART restorations than inexperienced operators. This study has demonstrated that ART with a glass ionomer restorative material and sealants provided high quality preventive and restorative dental care to this student population. ART has become one of the treatment modalities available to oral health workers in managing dental caries.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]