Ozone is a naturally occurring inorganic molecule, and is present in the Earth’s atmosphere.
A powerful oxident, it is used in many industries to disinfect water and surfaces.
Dentists primarily use ozone to help kill bacteria in the tooth, such as the anaerobic bacteria that causes tooth decay.
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Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that secrete acid and invade teeth. Ozone gas helps kill these bacteria.
The tooth can then be remineralized by the calcium phosphate present in saliva, making it resistant to further bacterial attack.
For the patient, it’s a painless, quick, and inexpensive alternative to traditional drilling and filling.
Desensitizes the tooth.
Another benefit of ozone is that it can help desensitize the tooth.
For individuals with highly sensitive teeth to cold air or water stimuli, the ozone gas is applied directly across all sensitive areas of the tooth.
This stimulates an instant enamel hardening, which effectively seals off the sensitive nerve endings inside of the tooth.
Ozone treated root decay that eliminated all sensitivity with no drilling, just ozone gas.
Treatment of decay using ozone
Quick, simple, inexpensive and painless.
Ozone is applied to the enamel and dentin in the form of a gas. Its free radical negative charge on the oxygen is drawn deeply into the tooth, toward any positively charged (acidic) bacteria, such as the anaerobic bacteria found in tooth decay.
The ozone sterilized dental surface can be quickly (about an hour) remineralized by the calcium phosphate present in saliva, thus becoming hard and resistant to further bacterial attack for at least three months.
Decay can be successfully treated by the quick, simple, inexpensive and painless use of ozone on root dentine carious lesions as an alternative to the conventional and painful “drilling and filling”.
Example: Pediatric Ozone Dentistry
3 month recall on a pediatric cavity treated without drilling and ozone gas re-calcification.
After 90 days the previously soft decay is now leathery and hard.
Root Decay Treatment With Ozone Therapy
Cavity detected with DIAGNODeNT laser confirmation. The laser detects density. Decay can be ozonated, and once confirmed caries free with the laser, sealed properly to prevent future decay.
A tooth in cross-section. As you can see the grooves of most teeth extend far deeper than the dental instruments can reach with examination. A DIAGNODENT laser can accurately confirm the presence of decay by testing tooth density. Ozone gas can be used for remineralization of the deep grooves.
Ozone Dentistry: FAQ
What is ozone? How does it benefit you?
What is ozone?
Ozone is created by an energetic reaction that results in an oxygen molecule (O2) being split into singlet oxygen (O1). A single oxygen then combines with a diatomic oxygen (O2) forming ozone (O3). This singlet free radical can break off, and act as a potent anti-oxidant throughout the body. Simply stated, it acts as an anti-oxidant by oxidizing diseased tissue as well as targeting harmful bacteria, amoebas, protozoans, spirochetes, parasites, fungus, viruses and even prions. This includes common pathogens, such as herpes,pappillomas, and influenza. To date, ozone is the only therapy that has been shown to kill prions. Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and Parasites have little or no antioxidant enzymes in their cell membranes. This makes them vulnerable to oxidants. An oxidant will destroy the cell membrane of the pathogen resulting in a disinfecting or sterilizing effect. Ozonated solutions display a cleansing effect and act as a powerful disinfectant, which kills even antibiotic-resistant or anaerobic bacteria.
For more information please refer to the textbook: Velio Bocci, MD, in his book, “OZONE: A NEW MEDICAL DRUG” and www.ozonefordentisry.com.
Is ozone toxic?
To reiterate, OZONE IS A STRONG OXIDANT! Because of this extreme oxidant capacity, good ozone hygiene is required. Correctly scavenging the excess ozone gas and preventing it from escaping into the office environment is essential. This aspect is critical because the membranes of the eyes and lungs are very weakly protected by antioxidant enzymes. These are the only tissues that require protection from the dosage levels that are used in Dental ozone protocols.
The term ozone is typically associated with our atmosphere. The ozone layer deflects harmful UV rays from the sun. However, in the atmosphere, pure ozone is contaminated with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and chlorine derived from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which can bind to the ozone creating more harmful gases, typically known as SMOG. Ozone in its purest form can also be too saturated and therefore toxic. However, ozone generating units have an imbedded free ozone destructor, which allows for safe use in the office. The ozone-therapist must have an ozone generator that is safe, atoxic, and reproducible. The concept valid for any molecule is that it is the right dose that differentiates between a therapeutic and a toxic agent.
How is ozone used in medicine?
Ozone was first discovered in the 1800′s. The first medical application seems to have been the use of ozone for treating gaseous, post-traumatic gangrene in German soldiers during the 1st world war. Ozone is used in treatment as ozonated water, ozonated oil, and ozone gas, all of which act as potent disinfectants and enhance healing by stimulating cell proliferation. Ozone, being a potent oxidant, REACTS IMMEDIATELY with a number of molecules present in biological fluids, namely antioxidants, proteins, carbohydrates and, preferentially, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The mixture of ozone with these PUFAs creates an effect called Lipid peroxidation, which creates a cascade of lasting effects throughout the body.
Periodontal and gum therapy with ozone
Bleeding gums means you have an infection, with flesh-eating bacteria and their poisons eating their way under your skin, getting into your blood stream and possibly damaging your heart, brain, lungs, blood vessels, and bones (and if pregnant, your baby). Would that worry you?
Periodontal disease, better known as “gum disease” has gotten a lot of attention in the past decade showing its direct correlation with full body systemic disease. It is the most UNDIAGNOSED disease, and the number ONE cause of lawsuits in dentistry, as over 70% of patients have a missed diagnosis of gum disease. In addition, few dentists and dental hygienists take the time to explain the cause and effect relationship between the toxic bacteria that can be harbored in our mouths and the overall effect it can have on our health.
Your mouth is a wonderland
In each of us, it is normal to have between 250-500 species of bacteria in our mouths at anytime. Most of these are not harmful; however, many individuals harbor toxic and aggressive bacteria, either due to genetics, their environment, or innoculation from anther individual.
Think of a splinter embedded under your skin. If you can’t remove it right away, the body starts an inflammatory process to defend itself from this foreign object. The skin around the sliver festers up with puss and inflammation until it expels the object from the body.
The same phenomenon happens around dirty teeth. Remember, if the gums bleed, then bacteria is entering the bloodstream!
Other than regular dental visits and good oral hygiene, what can an individual with aggressive bacteria do to keep the infection at bay?
Ozone can kill all bacteria, viruses, spirochetes, amoebas, fungi and even prions
As mentioned before, ozone can kill all bacteria, viruses, spirochetes, amoebas, fungi and even prions. Deep inside of the periodontal (gum) pockets, ozone can penetrate to kill these aggressive bugs, which do not respond well to conventional periodontal treatment.
How does the dentist and dental hygienist use ozone for routine dental cleanings and deep cleanings?
- Routine use of ozonated water as a pretreatment patient rinse to disinfect their oral cavity
- In patient care, ozone is utilized in two forms: (1) ozonated water and (2) pure oxygen/ozone gas. Using these two agents in combination allows the Dentist to treat all oral infections using only oxygen and water!
- In Periodontics, ozone gas is used to reach and penetrate areas such as: carious dentin, dentinal tubules, and periodontal pockets where no other antibiotic or disinfectant can reach.
- Decontamination of the mouth and gums is possible because the infection/inflammation is positively charged (acidic) and ozone is negatively charged. (basic) Therefore, the chemistry of the infection and/or inflammation attracts the ozone to the area.
Other ways ozone is used to protect patients and staff
In addition to its uses in the body, the use of ozonated water also has the added benefit of killing all biofilm in the water lines in the dental office, in effect, making them sterile. Biofilms are a complex aggregation of structurally and genetically diverse microorganisms growing on a solid surface. Biofilms are found in dental plaque, carious lesions, periodontitis, dental waterlines, etc. Many harmful bacteria can colonize dental water lines, as this is a tremendous added benefit. There are many reported cases of nosocomial (secondary) infections that can come from infected dental water lines.
- Patient uses ozonated water as a pretreatment rinse
- Ozonated water is used in the unit water supply bottles
- Ozonated water is used in the Ultrasonic unit water reservoirs
- Ozonated water is used to irrigate periodontal pockets
- Ozone GAS is used to insufflate ( blow gas into) the periodontal pockets
- Ozone Custom Trays are used for total saturation (microbaric therapy) of all periodontal tissues AND carious lesions, precarious areas, occlusal grooves, interproximal areas and margins of existing restorations. This can prevent caries and aid in recalcification of areas that have minimally invasive caries
- Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) – removes calcified tartar and calculus around the gum line.
- Anti-microbial Rinses – kills bacteria and creates anunfriendly environment for bacteria.
- Laser Therapy – a non-surgical – removes diseased gum tissue, endotoxins and bacteria, and repairs gum pockets.
- Accelerated Home Care – daily support of health with antimicrobial rinses and pastes and new hygiene techniques.
- Nutritional Therapy – provides important ingredients to repair connective tissue, lower inflammation, and support health
Ozone and root canals
There is a lot of controversy surrounding root canals. Many doctors feel that leaving a “dead tooth” within the jaws, which can result in many harmful pathogens and powerful toxic bacteria throughout the body.
Studies have shown that following endodontic therapy, some bacteria, fungi and viruses remain in the multitude of the very small lateral canals and dentinal tubules that transverse the tooth root and communicate with the periodontal tissue. These studies have shown that the obligate anaerobes (which can include bacteria, virus and fungi) can remain within these canals. ( See: “Rooted” a documentary on root canals or the book “Rescued by my Dentist” for additional information). Many will recommend that all root canalled teeth should be extracted.
Saving a dying tooth
To save a dying tooth, root canal therapy is needed.
Endodontic (root canal) treatment of infected teeth has long been a treatment of choice and the standard of care in dentistry for an infected tooth. Endodontic treatment involves cleaning out the main canal or canals of a tooth with instrumentation, irrigation and chemicals (sodium hypochlorite-bleach). These canal(s) are then filled with a material called gutta percha before the tooth is finally restored with a crown.
This procedure is supposed to sterilize the tooth from all the invading bacteria that subsequently caused the tooth and the surrounding bone to become infected.
How does ozone work differently than typical root canals?
Ozone is one of the most powerful antimicrobial agents available for use in medicine or dentistry.
Failure of root canal therapy is mainly caused by microorganisms, so there are enormous advantages to killing these pathogens effectively. Numerous peer-reviewed published research papers have proven the antimicrobial effectiveness of ozone as a gas and as ozonated water.
Root canals are done using instruments to clean out the nerve and debris, and then Sodium Hypochlorite and/or EDTA are used to clean out the bacteria which may remain sitting inside of the porous dentinal tubules. This can be argued as ineffective, as none of these medicaments are drawn into the tubules where the bacteria are harbored, nor do they go beyond the apex of the tooth.
Oxygen has a dramatically toxic effect to microaerophilic and anaerobic bacteria. The use of ozonated water and Ozone gas within the tooth causes an oxidative reaction with the moisture inside of the dentinal tubules, actually drawing the ozone into the tubules with almost a suction effect. In addition, ozone gas applied into the moist root canal, dissolves in canal fluids, thereby resulting in aqueous ozone which then comes into contact with tissues. As such, it is also drawn out through the terminal end of the tooth, disinfecting this area as well.
In Endodontics (root canals), ozone gas is used to reach and penetrate areas such as: carious dentin, dentinal tubules, and accessory canals where no other antibiotic or disinfectant can reach.
Effective, easy, cheap and fast.
Ozone is an effective, easy, cheap and fast treatment to help disinfect root canals. Ozone is much stronger than chlorine and acts 3000 times faster without producing harmful decomposition products. This is possible because the infection/inflammation is positively charged (acidic) and ozone is negatively charged. (basic) Therefore, the chemistry of the infection and/or inflammation attracts the ozone to the area.
A Japanese study published in 2004 demonstrated that the use of ozonated water had the same antimicrobial activity as 2.5 percent sodium hypochlorite without the tissue toxicity. The study also showed that following ozone therapy there was high metabolic activity of the associated fibroblasts indicating an increase in the healing process.
The most powerful antimicrobial and oxidant we can use in root canal therapy.
As ozone is the most powerful antimicrobial and oxidant we can use in root canal therapy, and as aqueous ozone revealed the highest level of biocompatibility compared to commonly used antiseptics, then it is fairly obvious that ozone should be used to help combat the microorganisms associated with infected root canals.
- Patient uses ozonated water as a pretreatment rinse
- Ozonated water is used in the unit water supply bottles
- Lubricate the files with ozonated oil
- Irrigate canals with ozonated water to debride the canals and remove biofilm
- Insufflate canals with ozone GAS to eliminate pathogens and oxidize organic materials in the dentinal tubules, accessory canals and lateral canals