Ozone in DentistryDr. Michael Schecter, DDS June 1, 2012
After more than 130 years of use, ozone therapy is currently the standard of care in more than 20 countries. Its popularity is quickly growing in the medical and dental fields.
Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three atoms of oxygen. It is the elemental form of oxygen that occurs naturally as a result of ultraviolet light in combination with atmospheric electrical discharge or lightning, causing a temporary recombination of oxygen atoms into groups of three. An ozone generator stimulates lightning via an electrical discharge field.
Ozone protects living organisms by surrounding the earth in the upper atmosphere. The ozone layer absorbs the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, thus allowing the survival of plant and animal life. Ozone also forms at near ground level as a result of the reaction of ultraviolet light with hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and sulphur compounds to produce photochemical smog. Ozone, a powerful oxidizer, is actually a beneficial by-product of smog as it helps to clean up these dangerous chemicals. It is important to emphasize that ozone is not smog, rather it is nature’s way of cleaning up smog.
The properties of ozone are the foundation of what makes it work so well in dentistry. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer, effectively killing bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. The great benefit of ozone is its ability to oxidize without harmful side effects and at a much lower concentration than other anti-microbial agents like chlorine. One molecule of ozone is the equivalent of 5,000 molecules of chlorine and it works 3,500 times faster! Because of ozone’s remarkable properties, it can be used therapeutically in a very low concentration. We are effectively treating people with less than 0.25% ozone in pure oxygen. Ozone basically punches a hole in the membrane of a pathogen, killing it. Of particular interest is a study from Scripps Research Institute, which demonstrated that a person’s own antibodies produce ozone to kill invading microorganisms. It seems that our own bodies deal with infections using ozone.
Ozone enhances gum treatment, root canals, and even cavity prevention. Gum disease is a result of multiple factors including diet, systemic conditions, and oral hygiene. Ozone therapy radically improves the state of the gums while reducing the unhealthy pressures on the overall system.
In our practice, we are irrigating with ozonated water along with scaling the teeth. This is followed by an infusion of gas directly into the gum pockets. Using this method, we are seeing a virtual elimination of pathogens. In addition, the gums respond with increased blood flow and healing. Patients can augment this treatment at home with ozonated olive oil. The methods applied are safe and efficacious, with no toxicity or side effects.
Ozone is equally as promising in root canal treatment. We are able to further eliminate other toxins by offering ozonated products as an alternative to conventional chemicals. Ozone disinfects the potential chronic state of infection surrounding a root canal-treated tooth. Ozone gas permeates and kills throughout the lateral canals and tubules in a tooth. The bacteria in the tooth create a positive charge. Ozone, as the only gas to carry an electrical charge, gets attracted toward the very infection it is trying to fight. The pathogens attract the ozone, essentially committing suicide. As a result, concerns affiliated with root canals are alleviated.
Ozone is also being used to stop small cavities and to inhibit deeper cavities from degenerating into root canals. It also helps with root sensitivity. Ozone therapy in dentistry is the present and future of prevention. It is an essential tool to minimize invasiveness, and minimize toxicity. Moreover, there are endless applications for ozone in other facets of health.
Please take the time to explore ozone dental work, an ozone sauna, or ozone as a household cleaner. The more we learn and explore with this special gas, the healthier we will become with fewer and fewer side effects.
Dr. Michael Schecter focuses on comprehensive dentistry including prevention and tooth replacement. He has found a specific niche offering zirconia dental implants. He is currently exploring avenues to reduce the ecological footprint of current dental procedures. For more information, email Dr. Michael at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.