When there is a cavity in an aching tooth it should be cleaned of food, and a little pledget of cotton wool wrapped on a toothpick may be used to wipe the cavity dry. Then the cavity should be loosely packed, by means of a toothpick or one prong of a hairpin, with a small piece of absorbent cotton rolled between the fingers and saturated with one of the following substances, preferably the first: oil of cloves, wood creosote or chloroform.

If wood creosote is used the cotton must be well squeezed to get rid of the excess of fluid, as it is poisonous if swallowed, and will burn the gum and mouth if allowed to overflow from the tooth.