What is Ozone Therapy?
Ozone therapy has led to a paradigm shift and revolutionized the way we treat patients.
Here at the British Dental Clinic we use the latest Ozone Device called HealOzone, manufactured in Germany by Kavo to produce ozone gas. The machine uses high voltage to convert oxygen in the ambient air into ozone. We also have a unit which produces ozonated water. Ozone is the most powerful oxidizing agent known to man which kills bacteria, virus, funghi and prions on contact.
Although ozone levels in the atmosphere are used to measure pollution levels, the ozone itself is not a hazard. Ozone in the atmosphere starts as O3, but quickly binds with atmospheric pollutants. Because of this tendency to bind with pollutants, ozone levels are measured to determine pollution levels. This is the job of ozone, to be nature’s filter of “bad” particles.
Ozone is negatively charged and by nature looks to neutralize anything with a positive charge. “Bad” cells – bacteria, viruses, cancer cells or free radicals, etc. – in our body typically carry positive charges on their cell membranes. “Good” cells will typically have anti-oxidants on their cell membranes and will deter surface oxygenation. Negatively charged cells will attract the ozone particle looking to neutralize its charge and the ozone will perforate the cell membrane and destroy it, thus destroying the “bad” cell.
How is Ozone Therapy used in dentistry?
Gum Disease: We use Ozonated water to treat early and advanced gum disease by flushing it below the gum line. We have found a significant improvement with this technique with faster healing.
Root Canals: Ozone is used in all forms during root canal treatment to kill bacteria, disinfect the canal system and to stimulate faster healing. As a gas, ozone can get to places traditional liquids can’t because the gas can permeate the tiny tubules that cannot otherwise be accessed.
Decay: Ozone can be used to kill decay-causing bacteria. Since ozone is a gas it can permeate into the microscopic grooves of teeth and over the smooth surfaces of the teeth and will kill bacteria on contact. If the decayed area, or cavity, is not too deep, then no restoration may be needed at all. If the area of decay is deeply cavitated and the bacteria is killed, then a filling can be placed often times with no need for numbing. Because ozone acts to recalcify tooth structure, areas of the tooth that have been treated with ozone are stronger than what was there before.
Sensitivity: Because ozone can harden compromised tooth structure, flooding a sensitive area or tooth with ozone gas can effectively eliminate sensitivity. We have successfully addressed many patients’ sensitivity issues with ozone therapy.
Safety: Ozone does not have any contraindications with other medications, therefore cross-reactions are not a concern at all. You cannot be allergic to ozone, because you cannot be allergic to oxygen.
This is commonly reported, following cavity or crown preparations. Traditionally this has been explained as being due to thermal trauma to the pulpal tissues. Current thinking suggests that, associated with the pulpal trauma, there may also be an inevitable bacterial ingress into the dentinal tubules. This bacterial contamination of dentine may lead to an acute inflammatory reaction within the pulp. The patient with the resulting pulpitis will complain of hypersensitivity to thermal changes, and often spontaneous pain. The pulpitis may become irreversible and this may necessitate endodontic procedures to relieve the symptoms.
If ozone is applied to cavity and crown preparations when completed and prior to restoration placement, the degree of bacterial infection is reduced. This reduction in bacterial count may reduce the symptoms of post-operative pain and thus reduce the need for endodontic procedures in such situations.