Luting Agents: Definition & Uses

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson defines the concept of a luting agent. You'll also learn the general ways in which luting agents work as well as the names, compositions, uses, and even brief histories of some luting agents.

What Is A Luting Agent?

Have you ever had a crown put in? If so, your dental work succeeded thanks in part to a luting agent, sometimes called luting cement. A luting agent is a type of dental cement that is used to attach the surface of a tooth to a restoration, such as a crown. Now, don't start thinking that this ''cement'' is like the cement you walk on with your feet. It's made of different stuff. This lesson will explain the different types of luting cements and what they may be used for.

How Luting Agents Work

Luting agents work by attaching dental restorations like crowns and bridges to a tooth surface. You'd think that, because of the word ''cement,'' they would only bond the restoration to the tooth using really strong chemical bonds. However, this is only part of the story.

Luting agents do have the ability to chemically attach a restoration to a tooth, but their ability to connect the tooth to the restoration also lies in their ability to connect the two structures physically. Actually, the adjective ''luting'' refers to a substance that can be readily molded in order to seal a joint by packing it in. In other words, the compressive strength of the luting agent is what, in part, helps keep everything together.

Types & Uses

Luting agents may be permanent or temporary, depending on need. There are many different types of luting agents, and this lesson covers only some of them, describing their natures and the purposes for which each is used.

Glass ionomer cements are used for restorations of a metal or metal-ceramic nature. These cements were originally developed in the late 1960s in Great Britain. They are hybrids which combine the benefits of silicate cements and polycarboxylate cement. As such, they have the translucency provided by silicate cements and the good seal and chemical bond of a polycarboxylate cement. Glass ionomer cements are made of water, itaconic acid, polyacrylic acid, and fluoroaluminosilicate glass.

Resin modified glass ionomer cements are used for metal and metal-ceramic restorations such as crowns and bridges, as well as high-strength ceramic restorations that contain alumina and zirconia cores. Resin modified glass ionomer cements were developed in the 1990s in order to combine the advantageous properties of glass ionomer cements with those of of resin cements, like its high strength.

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