This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Hypersensitiveness or Abnormal Sensibility of Dentine is indicated by pain resulting from irritation of dentinal structure, being of shorter duration and less acute in character than that from an inflamed dental pulp; the pain of sensitive dentine soon subsides on the removal of the irritating cause.
Apply obtunding agents, as chloride of zinc, chloroform and aconite equal parts, carvacrol, oil of cloves, oil of cedar, oil of eucalyptus, tannin combined with glycerine or camphor, chloral, camphorized ether, oxide of calcium, carbonate of sodium, menthol, thymol, sesquichloride of chromium, sulphate of morphine and gum camphor equal parts, ethylate of sodium, carbonate of potash and glycerine, carbolized potash, campho-phenique; also chloride of ethyl, phenate of cocaine, tropacocaine, peroxide of sodium, vapocaine, eucaine, chlore-tone, etc. The cataphoric current with warm saline solutions of cocaine, or the solution of cocaine with electrozone, or cocaine dissolved in a ten per cent. solution of chloride of sodium. The application of chloretone in the form of a saturated ethereal solution has given very satisfactory results; also the ethereal solution of the salt of cocaine known as vapocaine. Ottolengui's method: Apply the rubberdam, dry cavity with bibulous paper, then insert a pledget of cotton saturated with absolute alcohol, then apply intermittingly a series of blasts of hot air to produce evaporation, until parts become whitened or thoroughly dry, then throw on a continuous spray of ether. A jet of nitrous oxide gas directed into the cavity of the tooth by a piece of tubing; also the vapor of alcohol, produced by heating the alcohol in a metal apparatus, and conducting the vapor into the cavity through a fine metal tube, have also been employed for the relief of the pain arising from hypersensitive dentine. The application of cocaine and alcohol by electrolysis has also given satisfactory results. (See Therapeutics of Electricity.)