As part of our holistic dentistry approach, we strive to utilize treatments that preserve your natural tooth structure. One of the most powerful tools in minimally invasive dentistry is ozone therapy. This form of activated oxygen can kill dangerous oral bacteria and prepare your teeth and gums for healing. With this treatment, we can reverse tooth decay, improve periodontal healing, and stop infections of teeth treated with root canals.
If you would like to learn how ozone therapy in Rochester, NY and other minimally invasive dentistry can save your teeth and reduce the need for fillings, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment with a holistic dentist at Contemporary Dentistry.
What Is Ozone?
Ozone is just a different form of oxygen. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is in the very stable molecules that contain two oxygen atoms, but ozone has three oxygen atoms. This unstable form wants to break up into stable oxygen, which means it reacts readily with many different molecules, especially organic molecules like those found in the outer membranes of bacteria. This causes the bacteria to burst and die, creating a sterile environment where the ozone is used.
Reversing Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is caused by oral bacteria that excrete acid after consuming simple carbohydrates. This acid attacks your teeth, removing mineral from enamel, the outer layer of your teeth that gives them their strength and beautiful whiteness. Enamel is the most mineralized structure in the body, which makes it very strong, but also makes it vulnerable to acidic attack.
When we blow ozone over an area where decay is just starting, it causes several powerful effects. First, as we mentioned above, it kills oral bacteria that’s present. This is vital, because cavities and pre-cavities can provide harborages that protect oral bacteria from saliva and tooth cleaning.
As ozone decays, the oxygen it releases bonds readily with free hydrogens. Free hydrogen in solution is what makes acid acidic. Instead, this creates hydroxyl groups, which bond with more free hydrogen to create neutral water. Sufficient ozone exposure will transform an acidic environment into an alkaline one. Instead of further tooth decay, the environment will encourage the remineralization of the area, with minerals that come either from your saliva or a mineral-rich formula applied to the tooth. This can often reverse the decay process and eliminate the need for fillings.
Ozone can also be used to encourage periodontal healing. The primary benefit here is that the ozone attacks and kills bacteria in the affected area.
But ozone is preferable to other antibacterial treatments because it is so reactive that its area of effect is localized to the treatment area. There are no systemic effects, and no dangerous byproducts.
Also, because it’s a gas, it can easily be introduced into the periodontal pocket without the need for aggressive procedures to expose the treatment area.
And, as we said above, it neutralizes the acidic environment to set up the conditions for healing so that your gums can heal faster with less discomfort.
A tooth treated with root canal therapy can function for decades as if it were a healthy, vital tooth. But an infected tooth is also a potential source of deadly systemic infections. For root canal therapy to succeed, it is vital that the interior of a tooth be completely disinfected and remain free of bacteria. If it is not, infection can return and be just as dangerous as in an untreated infected tooth.
Ozone helps with this because the gas can penetrate into all parts of the treated tooth, ensuring a sterile environment. It is so penetrative that it can even be used to combat recurrent infection in previously treated teeth. That’s right: if a tooth treated with root canal therapy develops a problematic infection, ozone therapy can penetrate into the tooth, kill the infection, and allow the tooth to heal and remain in service. This is a great option to try instead of extracting the problematic tooth!
Early Action Makes All the Difference
In all cases, the effectiveness of ozone therapy is improved by early intervention. The sooner we can expose the affected areas to ozone, the more likely we can avoid complications.
To learn whether minimally invasive ozone therapy can save your teeth without drilling, filling, or extractions, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment with a Rochester, NY holistic dentist at Contemporary Dentistry.