OBJECTIVES:The development of elasticity of dental luting cements was investigated as an indicator of working and setting time. METHOD:A displacement rheometer was used to monitor the development of elasticity. Three luting cements were examined. RESULTS:The initial onset of elasticity in the glass-ionomer and polycarboxylate cements did approximate the manufacturer's quoted working times. The onset of elasticity did not appear to define a clinically useful working time for the zinc phosphate cement. CONCLUSIONS:The development of elasticity in luting cements as a measure of working time was not universally relevant. The demonstration of the presence of elasticity in some cements may have consequences for cementation and all ceramic crown systems.