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.
Lysol is obtained by boiling coal tar with fat, alkali, resinous acid and resin, and contains no phenol, but principally cresol. It is readily soluble in water, and has a strong pungent odor. It is of the consistency of soft or potash soap, or in the form of a clear oily liquid.
Lysol is a very complex substance (not homogeneous), without any definite formula.
It is claimed that lysol is superior as a germicide to carbolic acid, iodoform and creolin, its bactericide properties being very great. As an antiseptic, etc., in the treatment of wounds a 1 per cent. solution is employed; for internal washings 1/2 per cent. solutions are recommended. It sometimes exerts an irritant action on the skin.
Dr. F. Haenel lays special stress upon the simplicity of its use - a few minutes energetic brushing with the solution being all that is required to prepare a surface for operation, instead of the usually complicated process of cleaning and disinfecting the skin. For this purpose lysol answers as well as the best soap, removing not only visible dirt, but fatty or resinous spots on the skin, instruments, etc. The soapy feeling it imparts to the hands, instruments and sutures, is best avoided by drying the hands and the prepared area of operation with a sterilized cloth before beginning to operate.
With respect to the bactericidal properties of the preparation, Schotellius found that in 15 to 20 minutes a one-third per cent. solution destroyed all kinds of germs. The investigations of Gerlach led to similar results, and the experiences of Dr. F. Haenel are also in accordance with these statements. He used solutions varying in strength from 1/2 to 1/3 per cent., and on all grounds concludes that Lysol is superior to sublimate, carbolic acid, iodoform, and the other ordinary antiseptics, either by virtue of its non-poisonousness, or odorlessness, or the clearness of its solutions. It forms, he points out, clear mixtures with distilled water, or with ordinary water which does not contain much chalk. In solutions made with spring or tap water which contains much lime, a turbidity appears which increases in the progress of time, and is less conspicuous in strong than in weak solutions. As the disinfectant constituents remain in solution, the bactericidal action of the liquid is no way prejudiced. For some purposes this turbidity is a disadvantage, however, and the author states that the best way to avoid it, is to prepare the solutions immediately before use, if necessary, to avoid the employment of the weaker dilutions.
Lysol may be employed in dental practice as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and germicide in the case of putrescent or gangrenous pulps, to disinfect root-canals and carious cavities of teeth; also in the form of a 1 per cent. solution for unhealthy wounds and ulcers of the oral mucous membrane, upon which it has an astringent effect. It is advisable to employ lysol in from 1/2 to 1 per cent solution whenever an antiseptic or aseptic injection is desired, and in 1 to 2 per cent. solution for dressing wounds and sterilizing instruments and also the hands.
For Alveolar Pyorrhoea.
Dr. F. T. Van Woert.
Five drops in one-half glass of water used as a wash in cleansing teeth with a brush.