1RDH, Health Promotion Specialists, CEO/Clinical Director, Columbia, SC, USA. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An alternative approach to controlling dental caries and preventing the associated pain, called atraumatic restorative technique (ART), is described for populations in need, where dental hygienists restore decayed teeth with glass ionomer restorations without prior removal of all decayed tooth structure.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
There are populations whose decay needs are not adequately being met within the current oral health care delivery system. These include those in poverty conditions, vulnerable children, and the elderly who are often in long-term care facilities without adequate resources or opportunities for traditional dentistry. ART provides a viable option for controlling caries and relieving the pain of untreated decay. The purpose of this article is to suggest that the evidence surrounding ART be viewed objectively and that dental hygienists, with additional education in this approach, can contribute to relieving the pain of untreated dental decay.
Evidence suggests that teeth can be effectively restored with ART. Dental hygienists represent an appropriate workforce to provide ART with their current background and education combined plus a brief training program; it is suggested that dental hygiene educational programs include ART within the curriculum. Along with dental sealants and fluoride varnish application, ART can be an important component of a comprehensive preventive program to address the unmet needs of vulnerable populations.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PMID: 27237000 [PubMed – in process] 1. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2016 Jun;16 Suppl:84-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2016.01.028. Epub 2016 Feb 21.