Here at Aesthetic Family Dentistry, we embrace any product, procedure or treatment that promotes the natural.
That can include the natural healing abilities of the body, the healing properties of plants and of the elements. It is this latter that led us to ozone. Used widely in medicine, this wholly natural gas has some pretty far-reaching benefits in dentistry.
Ozone has been used in medicine throughout the world since 1880 and in dentistry since the 1930s. It is safe, straightforward to use and has a very effective antibacterial effect. This makes it an ideal weapon in the constant fight against infection.
What is ozone?
Ozone is a naturally occurring gas formed of three oxygen atoms given a negative charge. It is sometimes referred to as trioxygen. It occurs naturally in the earth’s atmosphere where it protects us from UV radiation that comes from the sun. Oxygen molecules are broken up naturally during lightning storms and given a negative electrical charge. When they rebind, sometimes three oxygen atoms bond instead of the two that make up the oxygen molecule. When three combine they make ozone.
It is likely that you have heard of it through media discussions around holes in the ozone layer caused by humans.
How does ozone kill bacteria?
Applying ozone to microbes causes the cell wall of the microbe to rupture through oxidization. The negative charge of ozone weakens the cell wall and causes it to break down. This process works across multiple types of bacteria, mold, virus strains and fungus.
Our body’s cells have antioxidants in them which counteracts the oxidization effect of ozone. This is how only ‘bad’ bacteria is targeted with ozone therapy. Our body’s natural defenses protects us from this effect.
This principle happens in nature too. Many things cause oxidization of our cells. That is why so many medical professionals recommend fresh fruit and vegetables which are high in antioxidants.
How is it used in dentistry?
Ozone is used either as a gas or as a liquid in the form of ozonated water. In the constant battle between medicine and bacteria, ozone is proving a very effective ally. It has some pretty amazing antimicrobial properties that work very effectively in many aspects of medicine. Unlike drugs or antibacterial products, there are no side effects, no long list of special care instructions or any concerns over bacterial resistance.
We use it to clean teeth, gums, around dental implants, root canals, as an alternative to fluoride and many more applications. It really is an extremely useful tool in the ongoing fight against infection. Ozone is a completely natural gas that has no known side effects when used correctly either!