Letter Re: Austere Dentistry


Thanks for pointing this issue out. In retrospect I should have developed purchasing in greater detail in the article. Additionally, this article has been sitting around for a while on my hard drive before being sent in, and at the time of writing purchase restrictions were not that common.

On Amazon, search Zinc oxide and eugenol, and you will find vendors who will sell ZOE without restrictions. When I searched today, I found brand name Temerx as well as generic ZOE.

On EBay, despite the disclaimer about sales only to dentists, I have rarely been challenged by U.S. vendors. If you are unwilling to attempt to buy from a U.S. EBay vendor, my advice is to deal with foreign vendors on EBay. Israelis are quite strict, but Chinese and Indian vendors have few, if any, restrictions.

Before drafting this reply today, I searched EBay for “zinc oxide eugenol” and zinc oxide, and ZOE temporary filling material all with good results as far as restrictions. Some vendors call it ZOE temporary cement, which is the same product as the filling material. When you search, you may or may not find the IRM or Temerex brand, but this is a very low tech item that has been used for many years in dentistry, and I am personally not concerned with generic or expired ZOE.

In addition to ZOE, I also found numerous vendors for glass ionomer. I would be more concerned about generic glass ionomer than generic ZOE. Several vendors had Fuji brand glass ionomer. I do not believe there is enough profit in glass ionomer to bother counterfeiting it and so would be comfortable with gray market Fuji glass ionomer.

Today’s searches also turned up cavit and cavit-type temporary filling materials, which should not be used. I hope this clarification helps. – J.D. DMD