Resin-modified glass ionomer fillings are commonly used in pediatric dentistry. We have investigated possible exposure of monomers from such materials in vivo. Saliva was collected at three time points, pre-treatment, immediately after placement, and one week post-placement, from 20 patients aged seven to ten that had their first resin-based glass ionomer filling placed. Saliva was analyzed for the presence of the following monomers: 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), glycerol dimethacrylate (GDMA) and urethane dimethacrylate (UDMA) from the resin-based glassionomer material, and methyl methacrylate (MMA) and UDMA from the coating.
Immidiately after insertions, UDMA was found in saliva from three patients, of that only one sample that could be quantified, and five patients had traces of MMA in saliva. UDMA and MMA could not be traced in saliva samples seven days post-treatment. HEMA or GDMA was not detected in any of the samples. The use of coating probably prevented the leakage of HEMA that is usually found from resin-based glass ionomer materials. UDMA and MMA have a potential for biological effects, however, the saliva concentrations of these monomers were too low to represent a health hazard. Since the investigated monomers are known allergens, it is recommended not to use resin-based glass ionomer fillings on patient with suspicion of allergy to the resins.