Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 1295–1308 | Cite as

Physical property investigation of contemporary glass ionomer and resin-modified glass ionomer restorative materials

  • Matthew Moberg
  • John Brewster
  • John Nicholson
  • Howard RobertsEmail author
Original Article



The objective of this study was to investigate selected physical properties of nine contemporary and recently marketed glass ionomer cement (GIC) and four resin-modified glass ionomer cement (RMGI) dental restorative materials.

Materials and methods

Specimens (n = 12) were fabricated for fracture toughness and flexure strength using standardized, stainless steel molds. Testing was completed on a universal testing machine until failure. Knoop hardness was obtained using failed fracture toughness specimens on a microhardness tester, while both flexural modulus and flexural toughness was obtained by analysis of the flexure strength results data. Testing was completed at 1 h, 24 h, 1 week, and then at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Mean data was analyzed with Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney (p = 0.05).


Physical properties results were material dependent. Physical properties of the GIC and RMGI products were inferior at 1 h compared to that at 24 h. Some improvement in selected physical properties were noted over time, but development processes were basically concluded by 24 h. A few materials demonstrated improved physical properties over the course of the evaluation.


Under the conditions of this study:
  1. 1.

    GIC and RMGI physical property performance over time was material dependent;

  2. 2.

    Polyalkenoate maturation processes are essentially complete by 24 h;

  3. 3.

    Although differences in GIC physical properties were noted, the small magnitude of the divergences may render such to be unlikely of clinical significance;

  4. 4.

    Modest increases in some GIC physical properties were noted especially flexural modulus and hardness, which lends support to reports of a maturing hydrogel matrix;

  5. 5.

    Overall, GIC product physical properties were more stable than RMGI;

  6. 6.

    A similar modulus reduction at 6 months for both RMGI and GIC produced may suggest a polyalkenoate matrix change; and

  7. 7.

    Globally, RMGI products demonstrated higher values of flexure strength, flexural toughness, and fracture toughness than GIC materials.


Clinical relevance

As compared to RMGI materials, conventional glass ionomer restorative materials demonstrate more stability in physical properties.


Polyalkenoate Glass ionomer Resin modified glass ionomer Hydrogel matrix Physical property testing 



The opinions offered in the work are those of the authors only and do not reflect the official opinion of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.


This work was supported by 81 Medical Group Protocol FKE20150010N.FI.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

784_2018_2554_Fig6_ESM.png (78 kb)
Supplemental Figure 1

Header: GIC Mean Flexure Strength 12 Month Results (MPa). Footer: n = 12 (PNG 78 kb)

784_2018_2554_MOESM1_ESM.tif (4 mb)
High resolution image (TIF 4067 kb)
784_2018_2554_Fig7_ESM.png (170 kb)
Supplemental Figure 2

Header: RMGI Mean Flexure Strength (MPa). Footer: n = 12 (PNG 169 kb)

784_2018_2554_MOESM2_ESM.tif (36.8 mb)
High resolution image (TIF 37707 kb)
784_2018_2554_Fig8_ESM.png (219 kb)
Supplemental Figure 3

Header: GIC Mean Flexural Modulus (GPa). Footer: n = 12 (PNG 218 kb)

784_2018_2554_MOESM3_ESM.tif (26.2 mb)
High resolution image (TIF 26838 kb)
784_2018_2554_Fig9_ESM.png (180 kb)
Supplemental Figure 4

Header: RMGI Mean Flexural Modulus (GPa). Footer: n = 12 (PNG 180 kb)

784_2018_2554_MOESM4_ESM.tif (52.7 mb)
High resolution image (TIF 53928 kb)
784_2018_2554_MOESM5_ESM.jpg (566 kb)
Supplemental Figure 5 Header: GIC Mean Flexural Toughness (mJ/mm3). Footer: n = 12 (JPG 566 kb)
784_2018_2554_MOESM6_ESM.jpg (490 kb)
Supplemental Figure 6 Header: RMGI Mean Flexural Toughness (mJ/mm3). Footer: n = 12 (JPG 489 kb)
784_2018_2554_Fig10_ESM.png (72 kb)
Supplemental Figure 7

Header: GIC Mean Hardness Results (KHN). Footer: n = 12 (PNG 72 kb)

784_2018_2554_MOESM7_ESM.tif (4 mb)
High resolution image (TIF 4093 kb)
784_2018_2554_Fig11_ESM.png (148 kb)
Supplemental Figure 8

Header: RMGI Mean Hardness Results (KHN). Footer: n = 12 (PNG 148 kb)

784_2018_2554_MOESM8_ESM.tif (254 kb)
High resolution image (TIF 254 kb)
784_2018_2554_MOESM9_ESM.jpg (490 kb)
Supplemental Figure 9 Header: GIC Mean Fracture Toughness (MPa √m). Footer: n = 12 (JPG 490 kb)
784_2018_2554_MOESM10_ESM.jpg (452 kb)
Supplemental Figure 10 Header: RMGI Mean Fracture Toughness (MPa √m). Footer: n = 12 (JPG 451 kb)
784_2018_2554_MOESM11_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 (DOCX 22 kb)
784_2018_2554_MOESM12_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplemental Table 2 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.42 Medical GroupMaxwell Air Force BaseMontgomeryUSA
  2. 2.Air Force Postgraduate Dental School Keesler AFB MSKeesler AFBBiloxiUSA
  3. 3.Bluefield Centre for BiomaterialsLondonUK
  4. 4.Dental Physical Sciences, Barts & The London School of Medicine and DentistryQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.University of KentuckyCollege of DentistryLexingtonUSA

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