Surface antibacterial properties of glass ionomer cements used in atraumatic restorative treatment

Esti Davidovich, Ervin Weiss, Anna B. Fuks, Nurit Beyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) is recommended for use worldwide, not only in developing countries where resources are not readily available, but also in more industrialized countries. The antibacterial properties of restorative dental materials may improve the restorative treatment outcome. Glass ionomer cement (GIC) has been advocated as the preferred restoration material for ART. The authors evaluated the antibacterial properties of restorative materials - three GICs and a zinc oxide eugenol (ZOE) - in vitro. Methods. Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces viscosus and Enterococcus faecatis were the test microorganisms. The authors used a quantitative microtiter spectrophotometric assay to evaluate the antibacterial effect of the restorative materials using the direct contact test (DCT) of freshly prepared and one-week-aged materials. Results. The freshly prepared GICs and ZOE showed no bacterial growth in all tested bacteria compared with a control. This effect lasted for at least one week for S. mutans and A. viscosus but not for E. faecalis. Conclusions. Conventional GICs used in ART showed antibacterial surface properties against cariogenic bacteria for at least one week. Further study on the long-term antimicrobial effects of GICs is needed. Clinical Implications. The antimicrobial properties of freshly prepared restorative materials and aged restorative materials used in ART have a potent effect against cariogenic bacteria. These properties have crucial importance in preventing secondary caries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1352
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Atraumatic restorative treatment
  • Bacteria
  • Glass ionomers


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