Dental compomer

Dental compomer

Dental compomers are materials which are used in dentistry as restorative material. They were introduced in the early 1990s as a hybrid of two other dental materials: dental composites and glass ionomer cement. They are also known as polyacid-modified resin composites.



Compomers were introduced in the early 1990s. Previous available restorative materials included dental amalgam, glass ionomer cement, resin modified glass ionomer cement and dental composites.


The composition of compomers is similar to that of a dental composite however it has been modified, making it a polyacid-modified composite. This results in compomers still requiring a bonding system to bond to tooth tissue.


Fluoride release

Compomers do show a fluoride ion release, like a glass ionomer cement. The level of this fluoride release however is only around 10% of that released by a glass ionomer, and therefore its usefulness in preventing recurrent caries is questionable, and is shown to have no advantage over an amalgam restoration which releases silver, not fluoride.[1] Compomers also do not have the ability to 'recharge' with topically applied fluoride from toothpaste etc., like glass ionomer cements do which again will limit their efficacy.


Handling and ease of use of composites is generally seen as good by dental professionals.[2] Compomers are available in both normal and flowable forms, with the manufacturers of the flowable compomers claiming that they have the ability to shape to the cavity without the need for hand instruments.


Compomers are tooth coloured materials, and so their aesthetics can immediately be seen as better than that of dental amalgams. It has been shown that ratings in various aesthetic areas are better for compomers than resin modified glass ionomer cements.[3] Compomers are also available in various non-natural colours from various dental companies for use in deciduous teeth.

See also


  1. ^ Trachtenberg F. Maserejian NN. Soncini JA. Hayes C. Tavares M. Does fluoride in compomers prevent future caries in children? Journal of Dental Research, 88(3):276-9, 2009 Mar.
  2. ^ van Noort, Richard (2007). Introduction to Dental Materials. Edinburgh: Mosby. 
  3. ^ Folwaczny M, Mehl A, Kunzelmann KH, Hickel R. Clinical performance of a resin-modified glass-ionomer and a compomer in restoring non-carious cervical lesions. 5-year results. American Journal of Dentistry, 14(3):153-6, 2001 Jun.

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