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Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding glass ionomers.
A glass ionomer restorative with true aesthetics, such as riva light cure, is a radiopaque, resin-reinforced glass ionomer restorative material that chemically bonds to the tooth structure while offering the aesthetics of a composite. Over time riva glass ionomers release fluoride which helps to prevent further tooth decay.
Like composites, glass ionomers are tooth-coloured and blend in well with existing teeth. They are used for filling decay, dental erosion and cavities, especially around the gum area. They work well as a strong temporary filling, for example in an emergency situation or between root canal appointments.
Because they release fluoride they are suitable for patients with a lot of decay. Glass ionomers are also an excellent choice for treating problems with very young children’s teeth.
The phasing-down of the use of dental amalgam will no doubt have a significant impact on the practise of dentistry in the UK, especially considering how long it has been, and continues to be used as a restorative material of choice, especially where aesthetics are not a considered a concern. The move towards more patient-centred, minimally invasive and preventative dentistry using suitable mercury-free and long-lasting alternatives to amalgam, such as those from SDI, is the only way forward.
Doing away with unsightly silver amalgam fillings and the potential health and environmental risks they pose, can only be good news for all those involved in ethical aesthetic or restorative dentistry. Mercury-free materials to restore aesthetics and function are nothing new and this is now the opportunity to offer them to patients who may not even realise there are many more aesthetic and environmentally-friendly ways to have a filling.