Evaluating Glass Ionomer Cement Longevity in the Primary and Permanent Teeth-An Umbrella Review

J Funct Biomater. 2024 Feb 19;15(2):48. doi: 10.3390/jfb15020048.


The aim of this umbrella review was to evaluate the longevity of glass ionomer cement (GIC) as a restorative material for primary and permanent teeth. Research in the literature was conducted in three databases (MedLine/PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus). The inclusion criteria were: (1) to be a systematic review of clinical trials that (2) evaluated the clinical longevity of GICs as a restorative material in primary and/or permanent teeth; the exclusion criteria were: (1) not being a systematic review of clinical trials; (2) not evaluating longevity/clinical performance of GICs as a restorative material; and (3) studies of dental restorative materials in teeth with enamel alterations, root caries, and non-carious cervical lesions. Twenty-four eligible articles were identified, and 13 were included. The follow-up periods ranged from 6 months to 6 years. Different types of GICs were evaluated in the included studies: resin-modified glass ionomer cement (RMGIC), compomers, and low- and high-viscosity glass ionomer cement. Some studies compared amalgam and composite resins to GICs regarding longevity/clinical performance. Analyzing the AMSTAR-2 results, none of the articles had positive criteria in all the evaluated requisites, and none of the articles had an a priori design. The criteria considered for the analysis of the risk of bias of the included studies were evaluated through the ROBIS tool, and the results of this analysis showed that seven studies had a low risk of bias; three studies had positive results in all criteria except for one criterion of unclear risk; and two studies showed a high risk of bias. GRADE tool was used to determine the quality of evidence; for the degree of recommendations, all studies were classified as Class II, meaning there was still conflicting evidence on the clinical performance/longevity of GICs and their recommendations compared to other materials. The level of evidence was classified as Level B, meaning that the data were obtained from less robust meta-analyses and single randomized clinical trials. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first umbrella review approaching GIC in permanent teeth. GICs are a good choice in both dentitions, but primary dentition presents more evidence, especially regarding the atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) technique. Within the limitation of this study, it is still questionable if GIC is a good restorative material in the medium/long term for permanent and primary dentition. Many of the included studies presented a high risk of bias and low quality. The techniques, type of GIC, type of cavity, and operator experience highly influence clinical performance. Thus, clinical decision-making should be based on the dental practitioner's ability, each case analysis, and the patient's wishes. More evidence is needed to determine which is the best material for definitive restorations in permanent and primary dentition.

Keywords: glass ionomer cement; permanent teeth; primary teeth; restorative material; umbrella review.

Publication types

  • Review