Variation in the Dispersions of Powder Liquid Ratios in Hand-Mix Glass Ionomers

Riaan Mulder*
Pediatric Dentistry Department, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X1, Tygerberg, 7505 Cape Town, South Africa

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© 2018 Riaan Mulder.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Pediatric Dentistry Department, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X1, Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa Tel: 0027219373107, Fax: 00279593505; E-Mail:



The Powder/Liquid Ratio (PLR) influence, and the literature regarding the handling and physical properties of Glass Ionomer restorative materials (GIC) were investigated.


The objective of the study was to compare the PLR variability and magnitude in hand-mix GICs, as dispensed for clinical use. From the recorded individual powder and liquid weights, additional comparisons could be made by pairing the various “extreme” outer observations in relation to the manufacturer’s PLR.

Study Design:

The materials assessed were Ketac Universal Hand-mix (KUH), Riva Self Cure Hand-mix (RSCH) and Fuji IX GP Hand-mix (FIXH). Twenty scoops of powder were paired with twenty drops of liquid, as would be the case in the clinical scenario. Statistical analysis was completed with the Kruskal Wallis H test, Intraclass Correlation (ICC) and straight line regressions with One-way ANOVA and the post-hoc Tukey HSD Test (p<0.05 was considered significant).


The powder and liquid observations indicate a lack of consistency in both the powder and liquid dispersions. The volume remained “one drop” but the weights were much lower than the manufacturer’s recommended drop weight for some observations, due to air in the liquid drop. The Kruskal-Wallis H test indicated significant differences (p=0.0001) between the three materials for the paired PLRs. The One-way ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey HSD Test were used to compare the recommended PLR to the results and the significant differences (p<0.01).


The recommended manufacturers’ powder and liquid weights were KUH 0.150/0.05g; RSC 0.165/0.035; FIXH 0.18/0.05, respectively. KUH, FIXH and RSCH liquid had powder and liquid dispersions above the manufacturer’s recommendations. FIXH had the most paired PLR observations within the ±10% range followed by KUH. Extreme powder and liquid combinations could occur in the clinical scenario and these combinations were considered.

Keywords: Hand-mix, Powder/liquid ratio, Glass ionomer, Liquid weight, Powder weight, Manufacturer’s recommendation.