Background. The authors examined several restorative materials to evaluate their ability to inhibit demineralization and enhance remineralization of incipient carious lesions on the interproximal enamel of teeth adjacent to those restored with the materials. Methods. Twenty-one subjects in need of a crown on a mandibular molar and a Class II inlay on an adjacent tooth took part in this six-phase study. Artificial enamel lesions were created and positioned within the interproximal portion of a crown. Lesions were photographed with polarized light microscopy and characterized before and after 30-day intraoral exposures. Each phase included the placement of a new section in the crown model and a new Class II inlay restorative material in the adjacent tooth. Results. Results demonstrated that nonfluoridated resin composite, fluoridated resin composite and resin-modified glass ionomer resterative materials, when placed in subjects who brushed with a fluoridated dentifrice, demonstrated significantly (P < .05) less enamel demineralization than the nonfluoridated resin composite control placed in subjects who brushed with a non-fluoridated dentifrice. The resin-modified glass ionomer cement, however, even when brushed with a nonfluoridated dentifrice, exhibited significantly (P < .05) less demineralization than the nonfluoridated resin composite control brushed with a nonfluoridated dentifrice. Conclusions. Resin-modified glass ionomer cement appears to significantly inhibit demineralization of interproximal enamel of teeth adjacent to those restored with the material. Clinical Implications. Resin-modified glass ionomer cement restorations can enhance prevention of enamel demineralization on adjacent teeth.
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