1-20. CLINICAL USES OF ZINC OXIDE AND EUGENOL
a. Treatment Restoration. The most frequent use of zinc oxide and eugenol is
as a treatment restoration. It helps prevent pulpal irritation when set in place for
treatment of fractured teeth, lost restorations, advanced caries, or pulpitis. This dental
material also exerts a palliative (affording relief, but not cure) effect on the pulp.
b. Temporary Cementing Medium. Zinc oxide and eugenol is used as a
temporary cementing medium for crowns, inlays, and fixed partial dentures. These
fixed appliances may later be permanently cemented with zinc phosphate cement.
c. Intermediate Base. Zinc oxide and eugenol is used as an intermediate base.
This material provides insulation between metallic restorations and vital tooth structure.
Because of the low crushing strength, its use is sometimes contraindicated. The dental
officer will often require that a zinc phosphate cement base be placed over the zinc
oxide and eugenol to better support a metallic restoration.
d. Pulp Capping. This material is used in pulp capping for near and direct
exposures of the pulp, but this use is declining. Calcium hydroxide is now preferred for
e. Surgical Packing or Dressing. This material is used as a surgical packing
or dressing after certain periodontal surgical procedures. An example of this is the
surgical dressing applied and adapted over the gingival area after a gingivectomy. This
dressing protects the area and makes the tissue less sensitive.