The mutagenic potential of three commercially available glass-ionomer cements used in dentistry was examined. The cement components were mixed according to the manufacturers indications and set for two defined times: 1 h or, alternatively, 1 wk. Cements B and C set spontaneously; in the case of cement A, the manufacturer suggests the use of a lamp to trigger also a photopolymerization. Photopolymerization, however, was not used. Ames tests were performed on the dimethyl sulphoxide extracts of cements by using Salmonella typhimurium strains TA 98, TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1537, TA 1538 and TA 102. Cement A showed mutagenicity only against TA 1537 strain, either in the presence or absence of metabolic activation with microsomial fraction S9. The other two cements showed no mutagenic potential. We conclude that glass-ionomer cements are, on the whole, safe materials from the viewpoint of genotoxicity, and hypothesize that the mutagenicity observed in cement A could depend on its polymerization performed without light activation.