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Journal of Applied Oral Science
Print version ISSN 1678-7757
FRENCKEN, Jo E.. Evolution of the the ART approach: highlights and achievements. J. Appl. Oral Sci. [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.spe, pp.78-83. ISSN 1678-7757. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1678-77572009000700014.
Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) was initiated in the mid-eighties in Tanzania in response to an inappropriately functioning community oral health programme that was based on western health care models and western technology. The approach has evolved to its present standing as an effective minimal intervention approach mainly because the originators anticipated the great potential of ART to alleviate inequality in oral health care, and because they recognised the need to carry out research to investigate its effectiveness and applicability. Twenty-five years later, ART was accepted by the World Health Organisation (1994) and the FDI World Dental Federation (2002). It is included in textbooks on cariology, restorative dentistry and minimal intervention dentistry. It is being systematically introduced into public oral health service systems in a number of low- and middle income countries. Private practitioners use it. Many publications related to aspects of ART have been published and many more will follow. To achieve quality results with ART one has to attend well-conducted and sufficiently long training courses, preferably in combination with other caries preventive strategies. ART should, therefore, not be considered in isolation and must be part of an evidence-based approach to oral health with a strong foundation based on prevention.
Keywords : Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART); Developing countries; Dental caries; Health services research.