The purpose of this study was to assess the cytotoxicity of some commonly used glass ionomers. Three chemically cured glass ionomers (Fuji II, Lining cement, and Ketac Silver) and one light-cured (Fuji II LC) were tested. Extracts of mixed non-polymerized materials and polymerized specimens were prepared in accordance with ISO standard 10993-12. The polymerized specimens were cured and placed either directly in the medium (freshly cured), left for 24 h (aged), or aged plus ground before being placed in the medium. The cytotoxicity of extracts was evaluated on mouse fibroblasts (L, 929), using dimethylthiazol diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) and neutral red (NR) assays. Further, the concentrations of aluminum, arsenic and lead were analyzed in aqueous extracts from freshly cured and aged samples, and the fluoride levels analyzed in aqueous extracts from freshly cured samples. All extracts except that of non-polymerized Ketac Silver were rated as severely cytotoxic in both assays. Extracts of polymerized material were significantly more cytotoxic than extracts of non-polymerized material. All freshly cured glass ionomers released aluminum and fluoride concentrations far above what is considered cytotoxic (aluminum >0.2 ppm and fluoride >20 ppm). Extracts from freshly cured Lining Cement contained the highest concentrations of aluminum and fluoride (215 ppm and 112 ppm). Extracts from freshly cured Ketac Silver had the lowest concentrations of aluminum and fluoride but the highest of lead (100 ppm). It can be concluded that all extracts from non-cured, freshly cured, and aged glass ionomers contained cytotoxic levels of substances. Curing did not reduce the toxicity significantly.

Cytotoxicity of dental glass ionomers evaluated using dimethythiazol diphenyltetrazolium and neutral red tests.
Lönnroth E-C, Dahl JE.
Acta Odontol Scand. 2001 Feb;59(1):34–9.