OBJECTIVES: Older dentate adults are a high caries risk group who could potentially benefit from the use of the atraumatic restorative treatment (ART). This study aimed to compare the survival of ART and a conventional restorative technique (CT) using rotary instruments and a resin-modified glass-ionomer for restoring carious lesions as part of a preventive and restorative programme for older adults after 2 years.
METHODS: In this randomised controlled clinical trial, 99 independently living adults (65-90 years) with carious lesions were randomly allocated to receive either ART or conventional restorations. The survival of restorations was assessed by an independent and blinded examiner 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after restoration placement.
RESULTS: Ninety-six (67.6%) and 121 (76.6%) restorations were assessed in the ART and CT groups, respectively, after 2 years. The cumulative restoration survival percentages after 2 years were 85.4% in the ART and 90.9% in the CT group. No statistically significant between group differences were detected (p=0.2050, logistic regression analysis).
CONCLUSIONS: In terms of restoration survival, ART was as effective as a conventional restorative approach to treat older adults after 2 years. This technique could be a useful tool to provide dental care for older adults particularly in the non-clinical setting. (Trial Registration number: ISRCTN 76299321).
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The results of this study show that ART presented survival rates similar to conventional restorations in older adults. ART appears to be a cost-effective way to provide dental care to elderly patients, particularly in out of surgery facilities, such as nursing homes.