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    4 big benefits of resin cements

    Thanks to new advancements, resin cements have made restoration placement easier, stronger and more esthetic.

    More than a century ago, zinc phosphate was clinicians’ only choice as a luting agent. As one would expect, technologies and chemistries have changed, offering doctors better cementation options. Recently, resin cements have made restoration placement easier, stronger and more esthetic.

    “Dental cements have evolved over the years,” says Dr. Liang Chen, director R&D, BISCO Dental Products. “Nowadays, the most popular cements used in dentistry include glass ionomer cements, self-adhesive resin cements and adhesive resin cements (also simply called ‘resin cements’). They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, which is why they are all still being used and probably will be used for a very long time in the future. Resin cement is used for bonding procedures and needs to be used with bonding agents (it requires one or two more steps and is less convenient), while self-adhesive resin cements or (resin-modified) glass ionomer cements do not require a bonding agent.”

    Related reading: 5 tips for ideal resin cement selection

    Resin cements offer clinicians a number of advantages when compared to other bonding agents in areas such as performance and esthetics.

    “Resin cements have better physical properties than other products that are used for cementation or luting procedures, such as zinc phosphate and glass ionomers,” says Dr. Rolando Nunez, DDS, clinical affairs manager, BISCO Dental Products. “They are not as water soluble, or maybe soluble at all. They have better flexural modulus, fracture toughness. They’re more resistant.”


    A very desirable feature of resin cement is that it does not react with water. That is, it will not be adversely affected when used in the mouth, thus making it more resilient.

    “They tend to be hydrophobic, and they are not soluble,” Dr. Nunez says. “So, they will not cause damage to the resin layer that you have in there. They are very stable. They do a very good job of being able to withstand the effect of water being in the oral environment.

    “It’s the nature of the material,” he adds. “It’s polymer-based, and dental polymers are hydrophobic by nature.”

    Resin cement“Unlike traditional cement or (resin- modified) glass ionomer cement, resin cement is not water soluble, so the restorations with resin cements will last longer,” Dr. Chen adds.

    Weakening is not the only adverse effect that can occur in the oral environment. Sorption — the taking up or bonding of one substance to another — is an added effect that hydrophobic materials avoid.

    More from the author: Top 10 worst states to be a dentist

    “Unlike traditional cement, glass ionomer cement or self-adhesive resin cement, resin cement has a very low (almost zero) water sorption, so it doesn’t expand over time,” Dr. Chen says. “Some cements, such as glass ionomer cements, will absorb water, expand and create hydroscopic expansion stress, which may sometimes crack weak restorations (such as porcelain). Resin cement does not have this issue.”

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    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...


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