Teaching Atraumatic Restorative Treatment in U.S. Dental Schools: A Survey of Predoctoral Pediatric Dentistry Program Directors

Date
2013-10-10
Authors
Kateeb, Elham T.
Warren, John J.
Damiano, Peter
Momany, Elizabeth
Kanellis, Michael
Weber-Gasparoni, Karin
Ansley, Tim
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Abstract
The International Dental Federation and World Health Organization have promoted the use of Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) in modern clinical settings worldwide. In the United States, the practice of ART is not believed to be widely used, which may be a result of little attention given to ART training in predoctoral pediatric dentistry curricula in U.S. dental schools. This study investigated the extent of clinical and didactic instruction on ART provided in U.S. dental schools by surveying the predoctoral pediatric dentistry programs in 2010. Of the fifty-seven directors asked to complete the survey, forty-four responded for a response rate of 77 percent. Of these forty-four programs, 66 percent reported providing clinical training on ART, though only 14 percent provide this training often or very often. The types of ART training provided often or very often included interim treatment (18 percent) and single-surface cavities (14 percent) in primary teeth. However, ART was said to be rarely taught as a definitive treatment in permanent teeth (2 percent). Attitude was a major predictor, for clinical training provided and using professional guidelines in treatment decisions were associated with a positive attitude towards ART. These predoctoral pediatric dentistry programs used ART mainly in primary, anterior, and single-surface cavities and as interim treatment. As ART increases access of children to dental care, the incorporation of the ART approach into the curricula of U.S. dental schools should be facilitated by professional organizations.
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Keywords
pediatric dentistry, dental education, educational research, atraumatic restorative treatment (ART)
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