152 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
HOW TO PLACE A PERMANENT FILLING
Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) is a way to place a permanent
filling without using an expensive dental drill. This method was invented in
Tanzania, East Africa, and it is now being used by dental workers in many
parts of the world.
The process for placing a permanent filling using ART is similar to placing
a temporary cement filling, but instead of cement you use a sticky material
called glass ionomer. Once glass ionomer is in the cavity, it releases fluoride
(page 226) and helps prevent new cavities from forming.
The Instruments and Filling Material you need for ART
The dental instruments you need for ART are the same as the ones for
cement fillings shown on page 145. You will also need petroleum jelly
(such as Vaseline) and a material called glass ionomer. Glass ionomer
comes in “low viscosity,” “medium viscosity,” and “high viscosity” forms
(“viscosity” means ‘thickness’). High viscosity glass ionomer works best for
ART because it is the strongest and lasts
for a long time.
Glass ionomer is expensive, but
sometimes local governments will provide
it at lower cost. A package of glass
ionomer usually comes with a bottle of
liquid and a bottle of powder that you mix
together for ART.
It is important to store glass ionomer in a cool place.
To place a filling using ART, follow these 6 steps:
1. Keep the cavity dry (see page 147). This is especially important
in ART because the glass ionomer sticks much better to a dry
2. Lift out the soft decay (see page 147).
3. Clean the cavity (see page 153).
4. Mix the glass ionomer just before using it (see page 154).
5. Right away, fill the cavity with the glass ionomer (see page 154).
6. Remove any extra glass ionomer from the tooth before it gets too
hard (see page 155).