Glass Ionomers: The Future of Dental Fillings

Glass ionomers are a unique tool for dentists to help patients receive fillings for teeth that have recently suffered from cavities and tooth decay. Recent innovations in dental technology have allowed engineers to develop new materials for correcting people’s teeth. Glass ionomer fillings present an avenue of restoration that has assisted many in restoring their teeth to health. Glass ionomers, when observed through an analytical standpoint, offer many benefits and have helped advance dentistry to provide people with alternative options to composite fillings.



How Glass Ionomers Have Changed Dental Fillings


The materials used in tooth fillings matter to create a durable, long-lasting solution to cavities and tooth decay. In today’s current usage for fillings, amalgam is the most frequently used material for fillings due to its strength and reliability. Amalgams, however, are made of traditional metals, consisting of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. However, the high risk of mercury poisoning has raised substantial concerns over the long-term safety effects of amalgams for people’s teeth. Other alternatives such as composite resins also provide long-term effects, and the ceramic and plastic compounds help provide more aesthetic appearances for fillings.


Among these options, glass ionomers have been clinically analyzed by researchers from journals such as the Journal of Functional Biomaterials have looked at the bio-compatibility of glass ionomer fillings and their potential to not only protect teeth from cavities but also provide fluoride-releasing components to help remineralize the enamel and strengthen the teeth over time. According to the article, glass ionomer cement and their physical properties help form an acid-based reaction that forms a hard surface, and today’s glass ionomers have fluoride in them, which releases overtime gradually to create an ion-exchange between the minerals and enamel layer, creating a tight adhesion to the tooth surface. Through this analysis, the release of fluoride for significant amounts of time proves to be the most viable source for long-term preventative measures against cavities.


What Makes Glass Ionomers Unique For Patients


For patients looking into filling options for their teeth, dentists will have the best insight into providing information about the development, how they’ll best work with your teeth and their associated costs. However, glass ionomers present a viable option for many patients because they can provide numerous benefits, which include:


  • Extreme Versatility – Glass ionomers can provide dentists with numerous options, from cosmetic to restorative.

  • Less Dental Sensitivity – patients who often receive glass ionomer fillings often experience less tooth sensitivity when receiving fillings. These fillings help maintain the tooth’s internal structure and thus can better protect the nerves and pulp from any further damage

  • Easy Application – For dentists applying these fillings, glass ionomers are extremely easy to apply due to their acid-based reaction that immediately hardens once applied to the tooth surface.

  • Last Longer – Because of the low degree of shrinkage, glass ionomers can last longer, especially in places where the back molars can suffer the most due to the constant exposure to pressure and use.


Glass ionomers have a place in dentistry, and as one of the latest innovations for dental care, patients who choose glass ionomers can have a much better time healing from their cavities with this new form of filling. 

Dr. Adeola Faleye

From our two locations in Bartlett and Memphis, TN, The Orthodontic Clinic P.C. proudly serves our community with the assistance of our team of orthodontic experts. We provide flexible appointment times and personalized care that ensures the incredible results you need and a beautiful smile that will be with you forever.

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Bartlett, TN 38134


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Memphis, TN 38120


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