Glass-ionomer cements (GIC) adheres to tooth substance but the strength of the GIC is lower than other filling materials. Even though traditional GIC products have been used for Class II restorations in pediatric patients, the longevity of the restoration is often regarded as inferior to other materials.

Glass-ionomer cements are also technique-sensitive materialsAs the traditional GIC has been improved (high-viscous GIC) and GIC has been combined with resins (resin-reinforced GIC and polyacrylic acid modified composite resin), the longevity of restorations has improved. GIC-containing materials are technique sensitive and moisture control is mandatory for all types of GICs. Water contact at placement or at setting results in dissolution of the material. Light curing of resin-containing GICs should be done in steps when the thickness of the restoration exceeds 2 mm. Composite can be used as the top layer (“sandwich”). Uncured resin, which may penetrate into the pulp and into the oral environment, represents a potential risk for adverse effects although no scientific evidence exists so far.

GIC contains fluoride which is released from the restoration. The clinical importance of this release has been disputed, but it is likely that this fluoride may have some caries preventive effect (secondary caries).

Read more 
Espelid I, Dahl JE. Glassionomer – et velegnet fyllingsmateriale for primære tenner.
Aktuell Nordisk Odontologi 2014; 39:69–83.

NIOM Newsletter March 2014