An overview of dental cements used in dentistry

Dental Cements are the materials that set intraorally and are commonly used to join a tooth and a prosthesis or restoration of the decayed tooth. Dental Cements have been used in dentistry for a very long time now. They are used in restorative, endodontic, orthodontic, periodontic as well as surgical procedures.

The last two decades have seen a host of changes in dental cement composition and the introduction of newer, advanced biocompatible materials. A dental cement is defined as a substance that hardens from a viscous state to a solid state to join two surfaces. In dentistry, cements act as a base, liner, filling material or adhesive to bind devices and prosthesis to tooth surfaces or to each other.

Dental cements can be broken down into five categories: zinc phosphate, zinc polycarboxylate, glass ionomer, resin-modified glass ionomers (RMGIs), and resin cements.


Zinc Phosphate Cements

It is the oldest of the luting cements and thus serves as a standard with which newer cements are often compared with. They are available as powder and liquid, and also as capsules of pre-proportioned powder and liquid. Zinc Phosphate cements have good compressive strength, excellent thermal insulation ability, and they don’t dissolve in oral fluids. However, they don’t offer chemical adhesion, and can even cause pulp irritation and lead to poor aesthetics.

These cements are ideal for cementation of inlays, orthodontic appliances, crowns, and post systems. Zinc phosphate cement is known for its high compressive strength and, when applied properly, thin film thickness.

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Zinc Polycarboxylate Cements

Zinc Polycarboxylate cements were devised by Dennis Smith in 1968. This is the first cementing system that arose as a result of the effort to obtain an adhesive cemented agent that could be firmly attached to the tooth structure and it is also known as polyacrylate cement. Polycarboxylate cements can be easily manipulated, and cause significantly less pulpal irritation due to the larger size of polyacrylic acid molecules. Although these cements cannot be used for restorative purposes because the cement is opaque.

Zinc Polycarboxylate cements are used as permanent cements for crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays, Orthodontic cementation and as a high strength base.


Glass Ionomer

Glass Ionomer cements are tooth coloured materials, introduced by Wilson & Kent, soon after Zinc Polycarboxylate cements in 1972. It combines the properties of silicate cements and polycarboxylate cements. Glass ionomers have excellent translucency and very low film thickness. They are used primarily for metallic and porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations, as they can chemically bond to stainless steel, tin-plated noble metals, and base metals. Pulpal response to glass ionomer is favourable due to high buffering capacity of hydroxy apatite and the large molecular weight of polyacrylic acid, which prevents entry into dentinal tubules. Glass ionomer can act as a good marginal seal and offer biocompatibility, but it’s also less sensitive compared to composites. They offer low resistance to fractures and wearing.

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Resin-modified Glass Ionomers (RMGIs)

Resin-modified Glass Ionomer cements are built upon their glass ionomer predecessors but they substitute the part of glass ionomer cements’ polyacrylic acid with hydrophilic methacrylate monomers. Due to their insolubility, RMGI cements are ideal for cases where isolation is difficult, including areas where salivary flow or tongue control can be problematic. Additionally, when applied to moist dentin, they incur little postop sensitivity and have low microleakage. Like glass ionomers, RGMIs are indicated for metallic and PFM restorations, as well as zirconia and alumina-based ceramics and lithium-disilicate CAD/CAM inlays and onlays.


Resin Cements

Resin cements are low-viscosity versions of restorative composites and they are virtually insoluble in oral fluids. First made available in the early 1990s, resin cements are the most popular option today. They are popular due to a range of advantages, including their mechanical properties, high translucency, shade selection, insolubility, high retention, and low film thickness.

Resin cements are used for cementation of crowns and bridges, cementation of porcelain veneers and inlays, bonding orthodontic brackets to acid-etched enamel.

Besides all of the above-listed dental cements, consumables like dental composites, latex gloves, dental sutures, masks, pedodontic, prosthodontic, endodontic and orthodontic instruments are also required to set up a dental clinic. If you are looking to source your dental supplies online, then Medikabazaar hosts the largest catalogue of dental products at the best possible prices. Medikabazaar also features advanced, cutting-edge, latest products that are revolutionizing dental care.

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