How can I use hints to force index use in PL/SQL?
Using a hint in PL/SQL is no different than using a hint in SQL. Depending on your version, your odds of success may be good or bad. Pre-Oracle 9i, the PL/SQL engine was different than the SQL engine so hints didn't always behave as expected in PL/SQL. One of the solutions was to write a view that encapsulated the hint and then have PL/SQL use that view, but that doesn't always work either.