What Oxygen Has to do with Dental Medicine
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
Thanks to advances in dental techniques and anesthetic medication, dental treatments such as root canal therapy and periodontal therapies are virtually painless. However, just because current protocols are better than we’ve had in the past doesn’t mean that there is no room for further improvement. At Sullivan Dental, we believe in providing the most conservative, most efficient care for the patients of our St. Francisville office. That’s why we have chosen to include oxygen/ozone therapy as a treatment modality.
What is Oxygen/Ozone Therapy?
The chemical makeup of ozone includes oxygen molecules, O2 and an additional molecule, creating O3. So, ozone is oxygen with an extra molecule. That doesn’t sound very special, but it is. The extra molecule destabilizes oxygen by giving it a “negative charge.” Having a negative charge, every ozone molecule will then look for cells with a positive charge to which they can adhere. It just so happens that infection-and disease-causing cells have that positive charge.
Medical-grade ozone is a sanitizer. It is for this reason that biological dentists often complement conventional dental therapies with this substance. When we can incorporate such a powerful antimicrobial into treatment like root canal therapy, we are naturally more successful in sustaining the long-term conservation of tooth material.
Ozone mimics natural biological responses to infection and disease. In the instance of contamination, ozone penetrates the walls of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Once these walls have been disrupted, an oxidative burst occurs inside that cell. Healthy cells are unaffected by this natural substance because the healthy cell contains active mitochondria. In fact, ozone provides additional energy in the form of ATP to the mitochondria, further strengthening healthy cells to function correctly. Bacterial and other viral cells do not have mitochondria and are therefore prime targets for destruction with ozone.
Ozone in Dentistry
There are several uses for medical-grade ozone in dentistry. These include:
- Cavity treatment. Ozone can be applied in gas form to permeate decay within a cavitation. Ozone may also be applied with water to treat superficial decay.
- Gum disease. All stages of gum disease originate from bacteria. Ozonated water can be used as a flush to destroy bacteria beneath the gums. The gums may also be infiltrated with gas ozone to treat widespread disease.
- Root canals. One of the challenges of root canal therapy is that teeth can have several roots and roots can have several offshoots. These offshoots are microscopic tubules that may extend far beyond the immediate tissue beneath the tooth. As a gas, ozone penetrates the length of root tubules for extensive antiseptic value.
Posted in: Oxygen/Ozone Therapy