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Fluoride in Restorative Materials

Adopted by the FDI General Assembly: 18th September 2003


  • The most common reason for the replacement of restorations is secondary caries
  • Ionic fluoride has an anti-caries activity, can alter the dynamics of the caries process,
    can modify the dental hard tissues and has an anti-microbial effect
  • The effect of fluoride-releasing restorative materials on the incidence of secondary caries
    should therefore be further investigated.


  • Research has been carried out into the release of fluoride from glass-ionomer and resin-
    modified glass-ionomer cements, resin composites, polyacid-modified resin composites
    ("compomers"), fissure sealants and amalgam
  • There is substantially more laboratory-based research than clinical research
  • Comparisons between studies are hindered by the lack of common study designs
  • There is equivocal clinical evidence that there is less secondary caries associated with
    glass-ionomer cements than with other restorative materials
  • There is negligible clinical evidence that other fluoride-releasing materials are associated
    with the inhibition of secondary caries

Future Research

  • There is a need for long-term randomised controlled trials on the effect of fluoride-
    releasing materials on secondary caries
  • There is a need for research to establish the dynamics of fluoride release from such

Clinical Significance

  • When selecting a restorative material, all properties, including fluoride release, should be
  • The success of a restoration depends not only on the choice of material, but also on the
    skill of the dentist and appropriate preventive measures, including dietary counselling,
    oral hygiene and exposure to fluoride

Main authors: Burke F M.Ray N J, McConnell R J
Submitted by: FDI Science Commission