Aim: To review local and systemic effects of fluoride (F) in alginate impression materials. Background: Alginate is the most frequently used impression material in dental practices. The alginate powder contains F compounds as an integral ingredient. Materials and methods: Reviewed articles are categorized into three main categories: laboratory studies including F release, enamel solubility, and enamel F uptake. Animal experiment assessed the anticaries effect of topically applied F and release of F from subcutaneously implanted alginate. Human studies involved F distribution from alginate impressions to saliva and circulatory system as well as alginate ingestion and inhalation of the alginate dust. Review results:In vitro and in vivo findings indicated that alginate continuously released F in aqueous solution. Topical application of alginate resulted in significant enamel F uptake and reduced enamel solubility. Animal experiment showed that topically applied alginate resulted in a significant inhibition of caries. Subcutaneously implanted alginate continuously released F. Human studies revealed that F in alginate impression are readily taken in and distributed to saliva and blood. Deliberately ingested alginate raised plasma F to considerable level. The F inhaled from emitted alginate dust did not elevate the plasma F level. Conclusion: The outcome of this overview indicates that alginate impression materials are rich source of F delivery to dental tissues, oral fluids, and systemic circulation. Clinical significance: The beneficial local effects of F in alginate impression materials have been discussed. On the other hand, alginate impressions elevate the plasma F levels if the pooled saliva is swallowed or part of the material is accidentally ingested. Dental professionals require to familiarize with these aspects.
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