The complex role of water in glass ionomer cement (polyalkenoate) dental restorative materials has been studied, but much of the present understanding concerning water balance within these materials is based on very early studies and short-term experiments. This study evaluated the nature of the water species of six conventional and four resin modified glass ionomer restorative materials over 3 years using thermogravimetric analysis techniques. Materials were prepared, placed in crucibles, and stored in physiologic phosphate buffered saline and evaluated at 24 h, 1 week, and then at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months. All materials demonstrated a significant increase in unbound water percentage content but except for the resin modified materials, the enthalpy required to remove the unbound water species did not significantly change over 36 months. Also, bound water content percentage and removal enthalpy was established at 24 h, as no significant increase was noted in both bound water content and removal enthalpy over the course of this evaluation. This study suggests that unbound water species may increase with time and is loosely held except for the resin modified materials. Protective coatings placement and re-evaluation are prudent to prevent unbound water loss.

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Published in Materials, v. 15, issue 3, 807.

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This study received no formal external funding.

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The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

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