How do we use Ozone?
At Flow Dental Care, we use Ozone to:
> Disinfect and sterilize your mouth
> Kill bacteria and stimulate remineralization and the growth of gum and bone
> Reduce sensitivity before a cleaning appointment
> Accelerate healing
When you hear the word ozone, the first thing that many people think of is air pollution. Yet ozone protects us from harmful sunlight that causes skin cancers. In fact, many critically important uses of this powerful, naturally-occurring gas are not so well known, but they serve us every day.
Major cities throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world use ozone to sterilize their public water systems, and ozone is commonly used to sterilize the fruits and vegetables we eat and the bottled water and sodas we drink. It's used in air purification systems, commercial laundries, and swimming pools and spa baths.
The medical community — especially in Europe — has been using ozone for decades to speed up wound-healing and to treat a variety of diseases. Most of the original research was carried out in the US and Europe in the early 1900s.
Controlled ozone application has been found to be extremely safe and free from side effects — far freer than most medications, including antibiotics. What could be more natural since our own bodies produce ozone at the white-cell level to kill offending microorganisms? The ozone molecule is the most powerful agent that we can use on microorganisms. It is deadly to bacteria, viruses, and fungi, yet the more highly evolved human cells are not damaged by ozone in lower concentrations.
Another way of looking at ozone is to see it as an activated, excited form of oxygen. The highly unstable ozone molecule (O3) wants desperately to kick off one oxygen so it can return to the more stable O2 molecule. So, does that powerful reaction drive oxygen beneath the surface of a tooth through the tubules and kill bacteria in early decay? Does that essentially start a process that removes bacterial waste products, halts dental cavities, and begins a process of repair via accelerated remineralization? Dr. Ed Lynch and Dr. Julian Holmes, co-authors of the book, “Ozone, the Dental Revolution” (Quintessence 2004), say “yes”. Dr. Lynch has been researching ozone for decades and has been involved in almost 100 studies on ozone's effectiveness.
Millions of patients have already been treated with Ozone worldwide, and not a single adverse side effect has ever been recorded.
Uses in dentistry
Ozone is being used not only in the dental world, but also to in other types of practices including veterinary science, skin care, home, and recreation, and to help the HIV-infected community. Ozone, for instance, is ideal to treat diabetic foot ulcerations and the intractable MRSA infections.
Hundreds of dentists in North America are now treating patients with ozone, utilizing it in a wide variety of areas including periodontal therapy, decay therapy with remineralization of early lesions, root canal treatment, tooth sensitivity, canker sores, cold sores, bone infections, and more.
Most minimally invasive
We use Ozone to avoid cutting decay-removing holes in teeth, with most of those patients being very young children. Researches confirm that ozone penetrates even below the surface of the tooth through the enamel, into deeper tooth structures, causing changes in the early areas of decay.
Depending on exposure time and concentrations, several millimeters are not unusual at all. If you have ever experienced sensitivity following the use of carbamide peroxide during bleaching (whitening), then it helps to understand that if that huge molecule can get into a tooth, just think how much better the penetration would be of the tiny, reactive ozone gas molecule.
Cavities develop as the environment below the surface of the tooth becomes acidic. Ozone not only kills the acid-making bacteria, it also neutralizes their acidic waste. This creates a new environment that is hostile to the bad streps and lactobacilli that love the acid niche. A new environment allows healthier bacteria to replace the bad ones. If we just kill off the bacteria, they're back in weeks. But if we get rid of their acid niche, they are gone for two to three months. Ozone treatments at this interval just might keep teeth decay-free indefinitely!
The new environment that occurs following the bio-chemical change in the lesion allows minerals to flow back into the tooth, hardening and reversing the effects of decay. Early cavities can heal. The minerals to assist this repair can come slowly from the saliva or much quicker from a mineral-rich toothpaste. Research seems to indicate that once a tooth is remineralized, it is very unlikely the decay will come back. Multiple ozone treatments over a period of months can improve chances even better.
Now we have to be realistic here. If your tooth has a big hole in it, ozone isn't going to regrow that tooth structure. Not even the tooth fairy can do that! But if there is still structure remaining in the earlier phases of attack, that structure can harden. That cavity can heal, and ozone can be a big contributor to this process. Using toothpastes such as Remin (we will create a post about it soon) and cleaning also helps to speed up remineralization.
We also use ozone regularly to comfortably and immediately eliminate canker sore pain. We have patients who seek us out for ozone treatment at the earliest sign of a developing canker sore or cold sore. We also use ozonated oil as an agent that eliminates mouth infections, promotes healthy gum tissue, and accelerates surgical healing.