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How Strong is Temporary Dental Cement?

How Strong is Temporary Dental Cement?

Temporary dental cement might sound like a temporary solution but don't underestimate its effectiveness and strength. Through this blog, we will discover just how strong this type of dental cement is and why it's an essential tool in the dental industry. Whether you are a professional looking to learn more about temporary dental cement or a patient curious about its benefits, we've got you covered. Get ready to dive into the world of temporary dental cement and discover why it is more than just a quick fix.

Comprehending the Basic Idea of Temporary Dental Cement

Imagine a blend of strength and flexibility combined with a touch of adaptability – that's the core of temp bond dental cement! This dental cement generally contains a unique concoction of substances like zinc oxide and rosin, along with various organic acids. Together, they create a powerful adhesive that works like a charm to keep dental restorations from moving, from crowns to bridges and everything in between. Dentists choose from various types of temporary cement, depending on the specific restoration they're working with. The most common types include zinc oxide-eugenol (ZOE) cement, zinc oxide non-eugenol (ZON) cement, and resin-based temporary cement. Temporary dental cement possesses various properties that make it an indispensable tool in dentistry. Firstly, it offers excellent adhesion, ensuring a secure tooth surface hold. This allows patients to confidently resume their daily activities, knowing their restoration will not be displaced. Additionally, this type of cement is easily manipulated, allowing dental professionals to effortlessly apply and remove it.

What Affects the Strength of Temporary Dental Cement?

The strength of temporary dental cement is affected by various crucial factors. They are:

  • Composition of the cement
  • Mixing ratio
  • Type of restoration
  • Setting time
  • Operator technique

Cement Composition: The strength of temporary relyx dental cement relies heavily on its composition, which includes the filler content, adhesive properties, chemical composition, and biocompatibility. Proper mixing, higher filler content, and good adhesive properties increase strength.

Mixing Ratio: The mixing ratio of temporary dental cement is vital in determining its strength and overall performance. The correct proportion of base and catalyst components is crucial for achieving the intended physical properties of the cement. Deviating from the recommended mixing ratio can compromise the strength and setting time, affecting tooth structure and restoration adhesion. 

Type of Restoration: Different types of cement are designed to work with specific materials, affecting compatibility and bonding. The retention mechanism, such as adhesive or mechanical, can impact the strength of the bond.

Setting Time: The setting time of temporary dental cement significantly impacts its strength. If the cement sets too quickly, it may not bond properly, resulting in weaker adhesion, while an excessively long setting time can inconvenience both the dental professional and the patient. Striking a balance between sufficient setting time for proper bonding and patient comfort is crucial.

Operator technique: The skill of the dental professional performing the cementation procedure and the application of the cement play a vital role in achieving optimal bond strength.

Examining Temporary Dental Cement's Strength

Examining temporary dental cement's strength involves conducting tests under standard conditions following guidelines set by organizations such as ISO and other dental associations. Standard testing methods include shear bond strength, tensile strength, microhardness, solubility, and water sorption tests. The shear bond strength test evaluates the force required to shear the cement from the tooth surface; the tensile strength test measures the maximum tensile stress the cement can withstand before fracturing; the microhardness test assesses the cement's resistance to indentation and penetration at a microscopic level; the solubility test determines the degree of dissolution the cement experiences in an environment simulating the oral cavity; and lastly the water sorption test evaluates the amount of water the cement absorbs over time, critical for understanding its long-term durability. The reliability of these tests relies on adherence to standardized protocols, precise equipment, skilled operators, and multiple tests to establish consistency. However, clinical studies and observations with human subjects are vital to understanding the cement's real-world performance, biocompatibility, and long-term durability within the oral cavity. Combining laboratory testing and clinical data contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the strength and efficacy of tempbond cement.

Results of Clinical Studies and Research

Numerous clinical studies and research have been conducted to evaluate the strength and performance of temporary dental cement. These studies aim to determine the ability of temporary cement to provide adequate retention and support for dental restorations during the interim period. Now let us compare the tensile strength of various popular temporary cement brands researchers tested.

RelyX Temp NE: This temporary resin cement is widely used in dentistry. The tensile strength of RelyX Temp NE is on an intermediate level. But it can withstand significant pulling or stretching forces without breaking or compromising the temporary restoration's integrity. 

Temp Cem: Temp Cem is an innovative cement product that has garnered significant attention in the industry. Its strength is comparable to RelyX Temp NE's. Despite that, the unique formulation and advanced additives enhance the cement's ability to resist tension and reduce cracking risks.

Kerr TempBond NE: Kerr TempBond NE is a highly reliable and widely used eugenol-free temporary dental cement that provides excellent adhesion and ease of use. It has the highest tensile strength among this group, which ensures a secure and durable bond between the temporary restoration and the tooth structure. This prevents potential dislodgment or failure, offering patients confidence and comfort during the temporary phase of their dental treatment. 

Though the Kerr TempBond NE is the clear winner in this tensile strength measuring game, it is also evident that many other factors should be considered to determine the overall quality of a provisional cement. RelyX Temp NE and Temp Cem may have lower tensile strength than Kerr TempBond NE, but they shine just as bright for their specific use cases.

Another important feature that influences temporary cement strength is the curing method. The curing method refers to how the dental cement is set and hardened. There are generally two primary curing methods for temporary dental cement, self-curing and light-curing. In terms of strength, light-curing dental cement is proven to have better control over the setting process due to its rapid polymerization. This can lead to higher bond strength and improved durability than self-curing cement.

Comparing Strength of Temporary and Permanent Dental Cement

Temporary and permanent 3m relyx luting cement differs significantly in their strength and intended applications. Temporary dental cement is designed to provide short-term fixation for dental restorations, such as crowns or bridges before the final restoration is ready to be placed. It offers a weaker bond, allowing for easier removal when necessary, making it more suitable for temporary use. In contrast, permanent dental cement is engineered to create a durable and long-lasting bond for permanent restorations. It possesses higher compressive and tensile strength to withstand the daily stresses of chewing and biting. The composition and setting reactions of the two types of cement vary, with permanent cement often containing resin-based or glass ionomer materials, providing superior adhesion and durability compared to the more easily removable temporary cement.

Emerging Trends and Future Prospects

Temporary dental cement is witnessing a promising shift in its strength characteristics as emerging trends unfold. Traditional zinc oxide-eugenol-based formulations make way for resin-based cement, offering improved strength and adhesion properties for more robust temporary restorations. Dual-curing options combine light and self-cure mechanisms for enhanced control and complete curing. Advancements in bonding agents foster better tooth structure adherence, reducing dislodgment risks. The future holds potential for higher compressive and tensile strengths, superior wear resistance, and bioactive properties promoting remineralization. Quicker setting times and long-term stability aspirations complete the horizon as dental professionals and researchers continually explore materials and technologies to optimize temporary dental cement performance. Patient-centric outcomes remain the driving force behind these developments, ensuring reliable and enduring provisional restorations while permanent solutions take shape.


Temporary dental cement is a remarkable tool in the dental industry, offering a perfect balance of strength, flexibility, and adaptability. While it may not offer the same level of strength and durability as permanent dental cement, It is more than just a quick fix; it is a crucial and effective tool that ensures the success of dental restorations during the interim phase, providing patients with confidence and comfort while they await their permanent solutions. The future holds exciting prospects for further strengthening and optimizing temporary dental cement's performance, ultimately benefiting dental professionals and their patients.