The atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) strategy in Mexico: two-years follow up of ART sealants and restorations
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- BMC Oral Health
DOI 10.1186/1472-6831-13-42
  1. Mexico
  2. Health policy
  3. Dental caries
  4. Atraumatic restorative treatment
  5. ART
  6. Glass ionomer
  7. Dental restoration
  8. Pit and fissure sealant


The massive use of preventive measures in Mexico has resulted in a large decline in dental caries over the past two decades. There does however remain a largely unmet need for restorative treatment. This paper describes the steps leading up to the adoption of a strategy, as part of general health policy, to use Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) within the Mexican public health service as a means of addressing this. The objective was to evaluate ART restorations and sealants placed in primary and permanent teeth in schoolchildren from deprived areas over a period of 2 years.


18 Dentists from 13 municipalities in 6 states with the lowest human development index treated 304, 6- to 13-year-old schoolchildren with ART sealants and ART restorations (single-surfaces) on the school compounds. Ketac Molar Easymix was the filling material used. ART procedures were evaluated according to the ART assessment criteria after 1 and 2 years, by 7 calibrated evaluators. Survival rates were estimated, using the PHREG Model with frailty correction.


The 2-year cumulative survival rates of fully and partially retained ART sealants were 73.1% (primary teeth) and 48.8% (permanent teeth). The dentine carious lesion failure rates of ART sealants in primary and permanent teeth over the 2-year period were 0% and 2.5%, respectively. The 2-year cumulative survival rates of single-surface ART restorations in primary and permanent teeth were 74% and 80.9%, respectively. Secondary carious lesion development occurred in 6 restored primary teeth (2.1%) and in one restored permanent tooth (1.3%). All restorations placed in primary teeth in one state survived, whilst those in one of the 5 remaining states failed statistically significantly more than those in the other 4.


The ART procedures were of substantial quality and had prevented to a large extent the development of new dentine carious lesions in these children from socio-economically deprived areas.