In the last few years, cements have become more diverse in the specificity of their applications. There are now cements for almost every application of restorations in dentistry.
The advent of new chemistry has allowed the practitioner to selectively choose the specific cement for the material and the patient's state of oral health. For example, the resin-modified glass ionomers are designed to slowly release fluoride making their application very beneficial for patients with subpar oral health and/or posterior restorations.
The emergence of the temporary cements for implant applications allows a semi-permanent solution in cementing fixed prosthetics to implant abutments. This allows the doctor to remove the restoration without damaging the crown or bridge if he/she discovers a problem after the initial cementation. This saves time and money on the clinician’s part.
I think the biggest improvement I have seen in dental cements has been the resin cements used for veneers. The bonding chemistry has advanced light years in securing the porcelain to the tooth using either the organic or inorganic matrix of the tooth. The bonding technology has resulted in high bond strength, thus greatly decreasing fractures of the porcelain and /or loss of the veneers.
The cements have come a long way from the days of the only choices being zinc phosphate or IRM.
Thomas Walker, DMD is a Dental Product Shopper evaluator and owns a general dental practice in Trussville, Alabama. www.drthomaswalker.com