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Dent Mater. 2011 May;27(5):407-22. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Feb 26.

"MTA"-an Hydraulic Silicate Cement: review update and setting reaction.

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Bioclinical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Kuwait University, Health Sciences Centre, PO Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait.



To review the current status and understanding of Portland cement-like endodontic materials commonly referred to by the trade designation "MTA" (alias "Mineral Trioxide Aggregate"), and to present an outline setting reaction scheme, hitherto unattempted.


The literature was searched using on-line tools, overlapping an earlier substantial review to pick up any omissions, including that in respect of ordinary Portland cement (OPC), with which MTA shares much. The search was conducted for the period January 2005 to December 2009 using 'MTA', 'GMTA', 'WMTA', and 'mineral AND trioxide AND aggregate' as keywords, with various on-line search engines including ScienceDirect (, SAGE Journals Online (, Wiley Online Library (, SciELO Scientific electronic library online (, JSTOR (, and Scopus ( References of articles found were cross-checked where appropriate for missed publications. Manufacturers' and related websites were searched with Google Search (


A generic name for this class of materials, Hydraulic Silicate Cement (HSC), is proposed, and an outline reaction scheme has been deduced. HSC has distinct advantages apparent, including sealing, sterilizing, mineralizing, dentinogenic and osteogenic capacities, which research continues to demonstrate. However, ad hoc modifications have little supporting justification.


While HSC has a definite place in dentistry, with few of the drawbacks associated with other materials, some improvements in handling and other properties are highly desirable, as are studies of the mechanisms of the several beneficial physiological effects. Reference to the extensive, but complex, literature on OPC may provide the necessary insight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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