Eugenol-containing dental materials are frequently used in clinical dentistry. When zinc oxide-eugenol (ZOE) is applied to a dentinal cavity, small quantities of eugenol diffuse through the dentin to the pulp. Low concentrations of eugenol exert anti-inflammatory and local anesthetic effects on the dental pulp. Thus use of ZOE temporary filling may facilitate pulpal healing; on the other hand, high eugenol concentrations are cytotoxic. Direct application of eugenol to pulp tissue may result in extensive tissue damage. The ability of ZOE-based endodontic sealers to influence periapical tissue healing is considered in view of eugenol's anti-inflammatory and toxic properties.