WHY GLASS IONOMERS?

6 reasons to choose riva glass ionomers

Thanks mainly to its mercury content the use of dental amalgam in the UK is changing. As of now dental professionals can no longer use amalgam in the treatment of deciduous teeth, children under 15 years and pregnant or breastfeeding women, except when strictly deemed necessary on the grounds of specific medical needs of the patient – affecting over 12 million of the population. This is just the start of a series of requirements aimed at reducing and phasing out amalgam in dentistry within the next decade.

Many of today’s patients are looking for an alternative to amalgam for their restorations or replacement fillings.

So, what is the alternative?

Mercury-free dental fillings are nothing new and over the past 50 years a wide variety of dental restorative materials have been developed to meet all needs. One of the most popular mercury-free fillings are glass ionomers which can offer many advantages over amalgam including:

Less environmental impact

Glass ionomers are mercury-free with no evidence of environmental toxicity and are therefore considered a safe alternative to amalgam[i].

Minimally invasive

Glass ionomers help to preserve and strengthen tooth structure. They do not damage healthy tissue, weaken tooth structure or fracture teeth[ii].

Prevent caries

Over time, glass ionomers release fluoride and chemically bond to the tooth structure which can help to prevent tooth decay[iii].

More accessible

When using glass ionomers in atraumatic restorative treatment (ART), it is proven to be more accessible and less expensive than amalgam[iv].

Faster placement

Glass ionomers can be placed up to five minutes faster than amalgam – saving on chair time and increasing patient comfort[v].

Low failure rate

Glass ionomers have a low mean annual failure rate of 4.2% when compared with 7.6% for amalgam[vi].

  1. World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. Mercury-free alternatives (Accessed 30/11/17)
  2. World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. Mercury-free alternatives (Accessed 30/11/17)
  3. World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. Mercury-free alternatives (Accessed 30/11/17)
  4. World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. Mercury-free alternatives (Accessed 30/11/17)
  5. Centre for Policy Studies (University College Cork, National University of Ireland). Cost-effectiveness of ART Restorations in Elderly Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial (Accessed 30/11/17)
  6. Environmental European Bureau (EEB), 2016. Technical Advantages of Mercury-Free Dentistry (Accessed 30/11/17)