What is Ozone Therapy?
- Ozone is simply a tri-atomic oxygen particle and is just as safe as oxygen when used properly.
- Ozone is created by passing medical-grade pure oxygen through a corona discharge generator, creating pure O3 or ozone. Once ozone is created, it can be used in a liquid form (ozonated water) or gas form. When ozone gas is filtered through pure olive oil, it forms a thick clear ointment (ozonated olive oil).
- 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?
- Periodontal disease: Ozone can be used to help treat periodontal disease by using ozonated water flushed below the gum line and/or ozone gas infiltrated into the gum tissue and supporting tissues.
- Root canals: Ozone is used in all forms during root canal treatment to kill bacteria, sterilize 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, thereby getting a truly sterile, bacteria-free root canal system before sealing the canals.
- Decay: Ozone can be used to kill decay-causing bacteria. Since ozone is a gas, it can permeate into areas below the gum line, into the 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.