A glass ionomer cement is a dental restorative material used in dentistry as a filling material and luting cement, including for orthodontic bracket attachment. Occasionally water is used instead of an acid, altering the properties of the material and its uses. This reaction produces a powdered cement of glass particles surrounded by matrix of fluoride elements.
Glass ionomer cement is primarily used in the prevention of dental caries. This dental material has good adhesive bond properties to tooth structure, allowing it to form a tight seal between the internal structures of the tooth and the surrounding environment. It act as sealants when pits and fissures in the tooth occur and release fluoride to prevent further enamel demineralisation. Fluoride can also hinder bacterial growth, by inhibiting their metabolism of ingested sugars in the diet. It does this by inhibiting various metabolic enzymes within the bacteria. This leads to a reduction in the acid produced during the bacteria's digestion of food, preventing a further drop in pH and therefore preventing caries.
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