Background. The authors clinically examined two restorative materials to evaluate their effectiveness in Class II restorations in primary molars and their ability to inhibit recurrent caries. Methods. Forty subjects, each in need of two Class II restorations in primary molars, took part in this study. Each patient received one Class II restoration of resin-modified glass ionomer cement and one of amalgam. The authors evaluated the restorations at six-month, one-year, two-year and three-year recall appointments. On exfoliation, teeth with experimental restorations were retrieved and microscopically examined for inhibition of demineralization at restoration margins. Results. The results of the clinical evaluation demonstrated no significant differences between the resin-modified glass ionomer cement restorations and the amalgam restorations (P < .05). Polarized light microscopic examination of the returned teeth that were restored as a part of this study indicated that the resin-modified glass ionomer cement had significantly less enamel demineralization at restoration margins than did amalgam (P < .0001). Conclusions. The resin-modified glass ionomer cement functioned clinically as well as amalgam for Class II restorations in primary molars. However, the resin-modified glass ionomer exhibited significantly less enamel demineralization at restoration margins than did amalgam. Clinical Implications. Resin-modified glass ionomer cement restorative material functions well for Class II restorations in primary molars and exhibits less recurrent caries at restoration margins than does amalgam.
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