Atraumatic Restorative Technique, or ART, can be used on cavitated (hole exists) dental cavities by using hand instruments to gently remove the affected portion of the tooth. ART does not usually require the use of local anesthesia, and is a painless procedure. After partial or complete removal of the cavity, the tooth is restored with either a stainless steel crown (modified hall technique), or a resin modified glass ionomer (white filling).
A Silver Modified Atraumatic Restorative Technique (SMART) restoration is another name for a minimally invasive procedure we use for pre-cooperative or special needs children. We use this technique to treat or halt the progression of the caries process.
This in-office treatment must be combined with changes in your child’s diet and an increased focus on oral hygiene to be effective. The procedure does not require local anesthesia and involves the placement of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) to re-mineralize the cavity, followed by restoration with a tooth-colored filling or full-coverage crown.
We will begin the treatment by cleaning the tooth with a rotary instrument. We’ll then remove the decayed area and fill the cavity with a silver-colored filling material. What we use in SMART restorations differs from the amalgam (silver) fillings typically used in adults. This material bonds to the tooth structure and hardens quickly, so your child can eat and drink immediately after the procedure.
SMART restorations are not permanent and will eventually need to be replaced. However, they can last for several years with proper care. Once your child’s teeth have erupted fully and they can cooperate during dental procedures, more permanent treatments, such as composite (tooth-colored) fillings, can be used.
It’s important to note that a SMART restoration does not replace the need for good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. To maintain the benefits of treatment, follow these tips:
If you are interested in learning more about SMART restorations for your child, please contact Premier Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an appointment. We would be happy to discuss this treatment option with you in more detail!