Biologic properties of eugenol and zinc oxide-eugenol. A clinically oriented review

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1992 Jun;73(6):729-37. doi: 10.1016/0030-4220(92)90020-q.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Dental Pulp / drug effects
  • Eugenol / chemistry*
  • Eugenol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Root Canal Filling Materials / chemistry*
  • Root Canal Filling Materials / pharmacology
  • Zinc Oxide-Eugenol Cement / chemistry*
  • Zinc Oxide-Eugenol Cement / pharmacology


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Root Canal Filling Materials
  • Zinc Oxide-Eugenol Cement
  • Eugenol