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The histologic response of periapical tissues to root canal fillings with zinc oxide-eugenol cement was studied in the lower molars of rats.
Root canal fillings were placed in normal teeth of 141 Wistar rats, and the animals were killed at different postoperative periods ranging from 24 hours to 90 days. Semiserial sections of each specimen were made, and, on the basis of the reported findings, the following conclusions may be drawn:
Zinc oxide-eugenol cement showed satisfactory properties of plasticity and dimensional stability, but it did not prove its adhesiveness to the root canal walls. It showed no signs of solubility or permeability to body fluids within the postoperative periods of this investigation.
Whenever this material set in a dense mass, it showed a marked resistance to resorption. Zinc oxide-engenol cement was found to be highly irritating to the periapical tissues and caused necrosis of bone and cementum when it came in contact with them. Polymorphonuclear leukocytic infiltration was seen in the periodontal ligament and persisted for 2 weeks or more.
On the other hand, when the body tissue encapsulated the zinc oxide-eugenol with a fibrous capsule, an area of loose connective tissue with cell infiltration could be seen, as a rule, between the zinc oxide-eugenol cement and the fibrous capsule.
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☆This study was supported by a grant (02290-01) from the National Institute of Dental Research, United States Public Health Service.
© 1967 Published by Elsevier Inc.