Glass ionomer cements are a dental filling material used to fill cavities that have been cleaned and prevent food from entering the hole which causes further tooth decay. This cement can also be used to seal crowns onto natural teeth to sit the crown firmly on the tooth and prevents mobility and loosening of temporary crowns.
The advantage of GIC compared to composite fillers is that GIC releases fluoride over time to prevent bacterial activity and reduce sensitivity existing in tooth. GIC also has good flow and can easily fill a cavity in one single filling compared to layering of composite fillers.
The main drawback of GIC fillings are their lack of strength compared to metal and composite fillers. Metal and composite fillers have high strength and can withstand masticatory forces. However metal and composite fillers lack fluoride compared to GIC.
To choose the best material depending on the condition of the tooth, the dentist will inform you prior to filling teeth the type of material used.
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