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Br Dent J. 2017 Aug 11;223(3):183-189. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.664.

Atraumatic restorative treatment and minimal intervention dentistry.

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Department of Oral Function and Prosthetic Dentistry, College of Dental Science, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Too many people worldwide suffer from the consequences of untreated dentine carious lesions. This finding reflects the inability of the currently used traditional mode of treatments to manage such lesions. A change is needed. Dental training institutions should depart from the traditional 'drill and fill' treatments and embrace the holistic oral healthcare approach that is minimal intervention dentistry (MID) and includes within it minimally invasive operative skills. Dental caries is, after all, a preventable disease. The atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) concept is an example of MID. ART consists of a preventive (ART sealant) and a restorative (ART restoration) component. ART sealants using high-viscosity glass-ionomer (HVGIC) have a very high dentine carious lesion preventive effect. The survival rate of these sealants is not significantly different from that of sealants produced with resin. The survival rate of ART/HVGIC restorations matches those of amalgam and resin composite in single- and multiple-surface cavities in primary teeth and in single-surface cavities in permanent teeth. The principles of carious tissue removal within a cavity recommended by the International Caries Consensus Collaboration are in line with those of treating a cavity using ART. Owing to its good performance and the low levels of discomfort/pain and dental anxiety associated with it, ART and/or other evidence-based atraumatic care procedures should be the first treatment for a primary dentine carious lesion. Only if the use of ART is not indicated should other more invasive and less-atraumatic care procedures be used in both primary and permanent dentitions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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