Self-gelling systems of tetraethoxysilane (TES), surface-active agents (SAA), and fluoride solutions have been described as potential vehicles for topical application of fluoride to the teeth. The present work is concerned with further study of the effect of various SAA and surface-modifying agents on the gelation of systems of 20% TES with aqueous ammonium or sodium fluoride solution in the concentration ranges of 0.1 – to 0.75 M F. Systems tested included ammonium fluoride with ammonium orthophosphate and sodium fluoride with different SAA, ammonium and sodium fluoride with varying concentrations of SAA, and finally systems of sodium fluoride with various quaternary ammonium salts and amines. The findings show that nonionic, negatively charged, and amphoteric SAA facilitate gelation in systems with ammonium fluoride. These SAA do not promote gelation of sodium fluoride systems. However, quaternary ammonium compounds with carbon chain lengths in 14–16 C range are effective. Those with shorter carbon chain lengths do not facilitate gelation. Surface modifiers such as hydroxylamine-HCl and glucosamine-HCl also promoted gelation when incorporated in conjunction with Tergitol. It is concluded that the self-gelling systems have the potential for being formulated as carriers for a wide range of fluoride systems as well as for other medicaments.

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