Turkey - Ongoing Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) Programme in some rural areas

Staff and students from the Department of Operative Dentistry, Dental Faculty, University of Dicle, Diyarbakir, have participated in an oral health programme using the Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) approach in the rural areas around Diyarbakir in the Southeast of Turkey from year 1997. We thank Dr CT. Dulgergil for the contribution of pictures and information for this presentation.

Map from The World Factbook

Background and Rationale
Turkey with nearly 67 million people is dependent on about 14000 dentists to provide all the oral health related care needed. This is a daunting task and therefore needs an alternative practical approach especially reaching the rural populations. The aim of the project is to provide much needed oral health care mainly restoration of carious cavities using the ART approach for the children in the rural areas of the Southeast of Turkey

Project Outline
Dentists and often dental students visit the rural areas including Bagivar, a small town and Anatolia. Art restorations are performed in school children, farm worker's children living in tents or children working in cotton fields. An average of 45 to 50 children is treated per visit. Art combined with fissure sealants or with fluoride varnishes have been performed in order to promote prevention of new caries appearing.

Using the ART approach, restorations can be made on carious teeth in field conditions. Caries is removed using hand instruments only. The excavated cavity is then filled with an adhesive filling material (glass-ionomer).

waiting to be examined

This project meets the oral health care needs of the rural population and also provides learning experience for the dental students practising ART. Many of the children otherwise would have ultimately lost their teeth due to lack of dental care reaching the rural areas.

ART on field

Dulgergil CT. et al. ART: Is it an efficaciuos filling technique or an effective preventive measure in rural districts? Journal of Marmara University Dental Faculty, 2000; 2: 123-129.


ART-team and children

Dr Turksel Dulgergil is presently (2004) working at the Kirikkale University Dental School, Department of Operative Dentistry, in Turkey. The city of Kirikkale (population about 250 000) is about 80 km from Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Dr Dulgergil, Dr Aylin Akbay Oba (Department of Pedodontics) and Dr Engin Cebecioglu (private practitioner) have started to widen the ART programme to the surrounding vast rural areas. Most children in these areas have untreated caries in both permanent and deciduous teeth and the scattered living structure limits routine application of dental services reaching these children. Dr Oba also helps with the oral health education of the mothers concerning their children's teeth, especially early childhood caries.

The proceeding photos illustrate some aspects of this ongoing work.

preparing, gathering around..

recording ..

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