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Dutch winner of award hopes boost of ART in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-01-07 14:50

Thanks to his decade-long efforts promoting a more accessible way of cavity treatment to the Chinese people, Dutch oral health specialist Jo E. Frencken is awarded China's prestigious International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award this year.

"It is certainly a prize that is considered to be very important in China. The prize will be conveyed to me by the Chinese President, that is enormous!" said the retired head of the Department of Global Oral Health at the Radboud University of Nijmegen during an interview with Xinhua, days ahead of his journey to Beijing, where he will attend the award ceremony scheduled on Jan. 8.

With this highest distinction given to several foreign individuals or organizations in the sci-tech field every year, the Chinese government intends to honor and express gratitude to their contributions to science advancement and social development in China. Prof. Frencken is the second Dutch winner after Evert Jacobsen, a plant-breeding expert at Wageningen University who won the award in 2005.

As the inventor of the Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) for dental cavities, Prof. Frencken has been working with Chinese institutes to spread his minimal intervention approach into China since 2006.

"In short, ART can be described as 'filling without drilling.' Normally children are afraid of the electrical drill because of the sound and afraid of anesthesia because of the needle and the numb feeling it gives. With ART, you remove the decayed tooth tissue with hand instruments and you do not need local anesthesia. So it is a much more pleasant way of approaching the patient, and it gives the same results," explained Prof. Frencken. "However, not all tooth cavities can be treated in this way."

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