The atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) approach for the management of dental caries

Quintessence Int. 2002 Jun;33(6):427-32.


There is worldwide interest in and increasing usage of the conservative atraumatic restorative treatment technique or approach for the restoration of primary and permanent teeth. However, most published data on the clinical performance of the newer, high-strength esthetic conventional glass-ionomer restorative cements marketed for the procedure have been derived from short-term studies. There have been very few reports comparing different types of restorative materials and methods of cavity preparation. In primary teeth, after 1 year, success rates have been approximately 80% to 95% for Class I and Class V single-surface restorations, 55% to 75% for Class II multisurface restorations, and 35% to 55% for Class III and Class IV restorations. In permanent teeth, after 2 to 3 years, success rates have been approximately 90% for Class I and Class V single-surface restorations, but little data have been reported for other restoration classes. Failures usually result from restoration losses, fractures, and wear. Further improvements in the design of hand instruments and in the mechanical properties of the newer glass-ionomer cements are required. Currently, use of the atraumatic restorative treatment approach should be restricted to restoration of single-surface caries lesions, especially in permanent teeth, and to sealing of occlusal fissures in selected teeth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Bonding
  • Dental Caries / therapy*
  • Dental Cavity Preparation / classification
  • Dental Cavity Preparation / methods
  • Dental Materials / chemistry
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Dental Restoration Wear
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / classification
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / methods*
  • Glass Ionomer Cements / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mechanics
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants / therapeutic use
  • Surface Properties
  • Tooth, Deciduous / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dental Materials
  • Glass Ionomer Cements
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants