This article reviews the current status and future prospects for glass-ionomer materials. These materials are of two chemical types: the older, self-hardening cements, which set by an acid-base neutralization reaction to give relatively brittle materials; and the newer, resin-modified ce ments, which set partly by polymerization and partly by neutralization. Compared with the self-hardening cements, the latter materials have improved esthetics, improved resistance to moisture, and greater toughness. Both types of glass-ionomer cement bond wel l to enamel and dentin and release a clinically useful amount of fluoride. They have been used in a variety of applications: as liners or bases, for luting of stainless stee l crowns, for Class V restorations in permanent teeth, and for Class II and Class III restorations in primary teeth. The resin-modified glass-ionomers are particularly promising for these latter uses, although it is too early to be sure whether their long-term durability is sufficient. Self-hardening glass-ionomer materials are likely to retain specific niches of clinical application, including in their metal-reinforced and cermet-containing forms.