Simple, Safe and Effective
by Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN (Certified Clinical Nutritionist)
As a dentist, working in the oral cavity can certainly create some interesting challenges. Dentists are constantly fighting a battle with infections that are found in the soft tissue and/or the underlying bone structures. These infections can come from bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Conventional methods have been used to fight these pathogens with antibiotics, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic medications. Although we have experienced years of success with these forms of treatments, we’re now discovering that these microorganisms are becoming increasingly resistant to our therapies. Science is trying its best to stay one step ahead of these virulent bugs, but we’re beginning to see our arsenal of weapons becoming less and less effective.
What will our course of action be in the next 20 years? Do we still try to “out-smart” these germs in the future or will there be other alternatives that offer promising results with little or no side effects?
Welcome to the world of Dental Ozone Therapy. Ozone therapy has a long history of research and clinical application with humans. It was first discovered in 1840 by a German scientist, C.D. Schonbein. The first medical application was in 1870. As of 1929, more than 114 diseases were cited throughout Europe and the United States for treatment with oxygen/ozone therapy. Today, in the United States, oxygen/ozone therapy is fully recognized by the medical community in 14 states. Recognition is pending in three other states.
In the last few years, I began investigating the efficacy of ozone therapy in dentistry. I studied the research and evaluated the science. (Conduct your search at PubMed.gov for “Ozone Dentistry.” There are more than 180 peer-reviewed articles.) I was simply amazed at how effective ozonated oxygen could be in the oral cavity. If it kills pathogenic organisms with no toxic side effects and no toxic byproducts, there must be useful and successful applications for dentistry.
Prevention and Protection. The following two uses of ozonated water are standard in our office as extra precautions for our patients.
Ozonated water can be used as a pretreatment rinse to disinfect the oral cavity.
In our office, we fill all the water supply bottles and ultrasonic units with ozonated water. This protects our patients and our staff from aerosol contaminants produced by high-speed instruments and water spray from the air/water syringe. The unit water lines will also be free of all biofilms (a complex aggregation of microorganisms growing on a solid surface—“slime”) when the ozonated water is used in the reservoirs.
On more than one occasion, I’ve heard patients comment that they felt ill or became sick after a dental cleaning or the placement of a filling. It never occurred to me that the water lines in our dental units may be contaminated with this biofilm and could be spreading these microorganisms to our patients.
The use of ozonated water in our office today ensures disinfection and sterilization and leaves only oxygen and water as byproducts. It’s safe, simple and effective.
Patient Treatment. The following processes are standard in our office for extra patient care:
Ozone is utilized in two forms: 1) ozonated water and 2) pure oxygen/ozone gas. Using these two agents, in combination, allows the dentist to treat all oral infections using only oxygen and water. Regardless of the location or the type of infection, ozone is able to treat almost any situation.
The ozonated water is the perfect irrigation solution for periodontics, tooth extractions, dry sockets and even for post-operative treatments to help reduce pain and inflammation.
For operative dentistry and periodontics, ozone gas is used to reach and penetrate areas such as carious dentin, dentinal tubules and periodontal pockets, where no other antibiotic or disinfectant can reach.
Ozone gas is also a powerful antimicrobial agent when exposed to the prepared tooth surface before dental fillings are placed or before cementing crowns and fixed bridgework. Post-operative discomfort can be significantly reduced by following this protocol.
For sensitive teeth and joint disorders, the ear and nasal insufflation therapies with ozone gas (gently letting the gas flow into the ears and/or nose) may also be used to provide a healing environment and thus reduce pain and discomfort in these areas.
All these results are possible because the infection/inflammation is positively charged (acidic) and ozone is negatively charged (basic). Therefore, the chemistry of the infection and/or inflammation attracts the ozone to the area and eliminates the pathogens from spreading.
The use of ozone as a disinfectant device in our office allows us to enhance the safety and cleanliness of our dental environment for our patients and staff. In addition, dental ozone provides multiple applications as a therapeutic tool to help prevent and/or reduce infectious and inflammatory reactions that dentists observe every day in the oral cavity.
Our office motto is “keep it safe—keep it simple,” and dental ozone certainly fits this mantra. If you would like more information regarding ozone therapy, please visit our website at www.toothbody.com. or attend a lecture at our office, held the third Tuesday of the month, where we’ll cover the topic of dental ozone and its applications in more detail.
Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN, is one of the few dentists in the U.S. that are Certified Clinical Nutritionists. He practices biological dentistry, including mercury-free, tooth-colored fillings, healthy dental materials, balancing body chemistry and nutritional therapy. For articles, information and patient success stories, visit www.ToothBody.com or call (314) 997-2550. Attend a free monthly presentation and discussion by Dr. Rehme on Biological Dentistry the third Tuesday each month at 6:30 p.m. Please call to verify the date and reserve your space.