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Novel glass ionomer cement may enhance dentine formation

By Dental Tribune International
August 05, 2021

LONDON, UK/JENA, Germany/DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia: A recent publication reports a new approach to stimulating Wnt signalling to enhance the formation of dentine. Scientists achieved this through a glass ionomer cement (GIC) that releases lithium ions to stimulate Wnt signalling in odontoblasts.

To protect the dentine after caries removal, GIC is often used to fill small build-ups or undercuts in prepared teeth and it lends itself to types of restoration with minimal preparation of the tooth. However, GIC has little biological activity on biological repair processes, which means that neo-dentine formation remains reliant on limited endogenous regenerative processes. As previous research has shown, Wnt/β-catenin signalling plays a central role in stimulating tertiary dentine formation after tooth damage and can be stimulated by various chemical elements such as lithium ions.

To use this fact to their advantage, researchers from the UK, Germany and Saudi Arabia created a lithium-containing bioactive glass (BG) by substituting lithium for sodium ions. They then replaced 10–40% of the powder phase of a commercial GIC with the lithium-substituted BG to create a range of formulations of LithGlassGIC.

The results of this study proved that, as the lithium content in the cement increased, the lithium release from LithGlassGIC increased as well. The new material also promoted the formation of tertiary dentine, which resulted in the thickening of the dentine at the damage site and restored the lost dentine volume. The scientists concluded that LithGlassGIC can work as a biological restorative material which both promotes tertiary dentine formation and restores tooth structure.

The study, titled “A modified glass ionomer cement to mediate dentine repair”, was published in the August 2021 issue of Dental Materials.

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