Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of the resin-modified glass ionomer (RMGI) material in atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) approach and compare RMGI with the high-strength traditional glass ionomer cement (GIC) in permanent teeth with one or more surface-carious cavities. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted in a village school in rural southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. The RMGI and GIC restorations with the ART technique were placed randomly employing a split mouth design. In addition, the ART approach was used when necessary for both primary and/or permanent teeth with no pulpal involvement and no perceived pain before treatment. Ninety-one fillings were placed on contralateral molar pairs of 37 children. Baseline and 6-month evaluation of the fillings were made with the classic ART, modified Ryge and USPHS criteria. Results: Based on the ART criteria, 100% of RMGI and 92.4% of GIC restorations were classified as successful after 6 months, and the difference between the 2 groups was statistically significant (p = 0.009). While marginal discoloration was the commonest failure in the RMGI group according to both the modified Ryge and USPHS criteria, unsatisfactory surface texture and low anatomic form were the commonly seen failures in the ART technique. Conclusion: Generally, for each rating system, RMGI exhibited better clinical performance than GIC in all categories, except for marginal discoloration. Results based on the 6-month evaluation show that RMGI can be an alternative material to the GIC.

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