WHAT IS OZONE?
Ozone is a powerful, naturally occurring oxidative agent. Ozone is formed by applying energy to the two-atom oxygen molecule (O2) creating the more active three-atom ozone molecule (O3).
Ozone is used extensively to decontaminate food, water, and medical supplies. Ozone has a long track record as a safe and effective decontaminant of drinking water. It has scientifically shown a greater disinfection effectiveness against bacteria, viruses, and fungus when compared to chlorination.
Our immune system also creates ozone to destroy infections. Special cells in our bodies, called macrophages, hold ozone which is then released into bacterial, fungal, and viral infections to destroy them. Human cells in the midst of macrophage activity are protected by an enzyme (superoxide dismutase) which deactivates the ozone which may come into contact with our healthy cells.
HOW DOES OZONE REACT AND DECONTAMINATE?
Ozone is a reactive gas that destroys bacteria, fungus, and viruses. The destruction is carried out by oxidation which dissolves proteins and lipid barriers. Therefore, unlike other disinfection technologies that leave toxic residues and have difficulty penetrating biofilms, ozone will dissolve the bacteria and viruses into benign waste products like carbon dioxide, two-atom oxygen, and water. Ozone has a very short half-life of about 20 minutes before it returns to oxygen in an open system.
UNDERSTANING OZONE SAFETY
Naturally, ozone exists in the air we breathe at a varying concentration (0.01-0.08 ppm)1. However, at high concentrations with prolonged exposure, ozone is hazardous to the lungs.
At TKDDS, ozone related procedures are performed in isolated, closed systems, and conducted at low concentrations for short periods of time. Please be assured that your airway will not be exposed to ozone at any level above what is found naturally in the you normally breathe. If we are using ozone gas during a dental procedure, we review the procedure and protective protocols with you, answer any questions you may have, obtain informed consent, and ensure your safety through the use of specialized equipment and protective protocols.
TRADITIONAL APPROACHES TO DENTAL WATER LINE STERILIZATION
Dental water lines can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus if not continually disinfected. Over the years there have been a variety of charged salts, activated metal solutions, bleaches, filters, and synthetic quaternary ammoniums which have been used by the dental industry to disinfect water lines. There are many drawbacks to these methods, as bleaches and charged salts create trihalomethanes (carcinogens) when they contact organic matter2, quaternary ammonium residues breakdown slowly and are toxic if ingested at any point in the food chain, and activated filters cannot be reused or effectively recycled.
HOW TKDDS SAFELY USES OZONE TO STERILIZE OUR WATER LINES
At TKDDS, we have elected to disinfect our water lines in the most health conscious and ecofriendly way. Our team creates pure distilled water on-site, and sterilizes it in a closed system with low levels of ozone gas. Our dental units receive this ozonated water, where the ozone deactivates in the water reservoir and lines prior to any patient contact. Any organic debris in the water lines is broken down to its basic elements, mainly hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Ultimately, the water our patients receive during dental treatment is disinfected and very pure distilled water.
HOW TKDDS SAFELY USES OZONE TO CLEANSE ORAL INFECTIONS
At TKDDS, our mission is to provide dental care which has a beneficial impact on the whole body. Bacterial infections of the mouth have whole-body consequences of increased inflammation as well as localized tissue destruction. To combat these infections, oral antibiotics are often prescribed, but there are consequences to the healthy bacteria of the body when these medications are given.
Localized placement of ozone gas in contact with bacterial infection has shown a disinfection capacity equal to, or better than treatment with oral antibiotics3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Therefore, we offer our patients the choice to irrigate an oral infection with a mildly concentrated ozone gas. When ozone irrigation is occurring, you and Team TKDDS are kept from inhaling the additional ozone through the use of specialized equipment including high-speed suction isolation and barriers.
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