Mithra N Hegde* and Brijesh.A.J
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics
A.B.Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Nitte University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Since their introduction in the market, some 30 years ago, the biocompatibility aspects of glass-ionomer cements (GICs) have been intensively studied. In general, cytotoxicity of fully set conventional preparations in previous studies was shown to be minimal. However if GIC was placed in direct contact with the pulp tissue, abscess formation was observed. A resin-modified preparation proved to be cytotoxic under these conditions. This product was also observed to be mutagenic. The biological effects of glass ionomer cements as used in clinical dentistry are described in this article. For any restorative material to be used in clinical dentistry, they should be biocompatible and non-toxic to the tissues it comes in contact. Generally, conventional GICs are suggested to have minimal toxicity, whereas, resin-modified GICs are shown to exert cytotoxicity and genotoxicity.
Key words: biocompatibility, cytotoxicity, glass ionomer cement