The interaction of zinc oxide-based dental cements with aqueous solutions of potassium fluoride
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The ability of zinc oxide-based dental cements (zinc phosphate and zinc polycarboxylate) to take up fluoride from aqueous solution has been studied. Only zinc phosphate cement was found to take up any measurable fluoride after 5 h exposure to the solutions. The zinc oxide filler of the zinc phosphate also failed to take up fluoride from solution. The key interaction for this uptake was thus shown to involve the phosphate groups of the set cement. However, whether this took the form of phosphate/fluoride exchange, or the formation of oxyfluoro-phosphate groups was not clear. Fluoride uptake followed √time kinetics for about 2 h in some cases, but was generally better modelled by the Elovich equation, dqt/dt = α exp(−βqt). Values for α varied from 3.80 to 2.48 × 104, and for β from 7.19 × 10−3 to 0.1946, though only β showed any sort of trend, becoming smaller with increasing fluoride concentration. Fluoride was released from the zinc phosphate cements in processes that were diffusion based up to Mt/M∞ of about 0.4. No further release occurred when specimens were placed in fresh volumes of deionised water. Only a fraction of the fluoride taken up was re-released, demonstrating that most of the fluoride taken up becomes irreversibly bound within the cement.
We acknowledge financial support from the Nuffield Foundation (in the form of a vacation scholarship to KP) and from the University of Greenwich (for a postgraduate student bursary to SEB).
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