dental02.jpg (11342 bytes)Fundamentals of
Dental Materials

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Restorative Materials

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1-19. CHARACTERISTICS OF ZINC OXIDE AND EUGENOL

a. General. This material is used for many dental purposes ranging from temporary restorative material to pulp capping. The material is composed of a powder that is basically zinc oxide and a liquid that is called eugenol. Cavitec, a commercial preparation, is an example of zinc oxide and eugenol. Generally, however, a generic form is used in military dental clinics.

b. Chemical Composition. By National Bureau of Standards specifications, the powder must contain between 70 and 100 percent zinc oxide. The manufacturer may add hydrogenated resins to increase strength and zinc acetate to hasten the set. Eugenol is usually derived from oil of cloves. The oil of cloves contains more eugenol (82 percent) than do the oils of bay, orange, or cinnamon. Eugenol is an obtundent (pain-relieving agent). It is a clear liquid that gradually changes to amber when exposed to light.

c. Physical Properties. This material relieves pain, makes tissue less sensitive to pain, is slightly antiseptic, and is low in thermal conductivity. It provides a good marginal seal when placed in tooth cavities. The crushing strength (compression strength) of pure zinc oxide and eugenol is about 2,000 psi, which is low in comparison to other cements. The addition of hydrogenated resin increases the crushing strength to 5,000 psi.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: May 22, 2017