Ozone is a powerful, naturally occurring agent that kills bacteria, fungus, virus and parasites. It is much more effective in dental applications than antibiotics or other chemicals. We utilize ozone in gum infection, fillings and other restorations, as well as disinfecting existing root canal teeth and cold sores.
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Interview with Dr. Kozlow on Ozone
Dr. Kozlow was recently consulted as an expert on Ozone. This is a transcript of the actual telephone interview. These questions and answers are commonly heard in our office.
How do you use Ozone (O3) in your office?
Dr. Kozlow: Ozone has lots of applications in our dental office. We use it for non-surgical gum treatments. Any kind of gum infections we treat with ozone, as well. It is our standard protocol for treating gum disease.
We use it for caries arrest, which means if we have a tooth that has a cavity, we remove the cavity, but we also then flood the interior where the cavity was with ozone gas so that it disinfects the surface of the tooth and stops any decay process that we can’t see.
We use ozone gas to desensitize teeth. Many people have sensitivity on the side of their teeth right at the gum line. Ozone does wonderfully well for that. Sometimes it takes 1 or 2 appointments and the sensitivity goes away.
We have a lot of patients that come in and have root canals and are concerned about their health after the root canal. In most cases, we can do a little ozone treatment around the tooth and kill all of the existing bacteria, fungus, virus, parasites, all the kinds of things that hide around the root of the tooth following an infection.
What exactly does Ozone do?
Dr. Kozlow:Ozone kills, basically, the bad bacteria, virus particles, fungus, and parasites. The way it does that, with a very simplified explanation, is that the ozone attaches to the wall of the cell of a disease cell, or a virus. That cell (of the virus) doesn’t have a chemical that can deal with ozone and so the ozone kills it.
Healthy cells do have the right chemical in their cell wall so that it converts the ozone (which is O3) back to oxygen which is O2 which our cells need. It’s beneficial to healthy cells, but it kills the bad cells.
Is ozone safe?
Dr. Kozlow: Ozone, just like anything else, if it’s used in the proper concentration and the proper procedure, is very safe and very beneficial. Just like anything else, it can be used improperly. But Used in the right application, or correct manner then it’s very beneficial.
How does Ozone compare to other cleaning solutions? What are some other uses in healthcare?
Dr. Kozlow: Most of the people that have gum disease have deep pockets. They have bleeding gums. They have areas where the gum has recessed, or they have areas where there are pockets around their teeth. All that contains bacteria, and viruses, and fungus.
That area, we clean really well, but even with antibiotics, which we’re not in favor of, you can’t get everything that’s in those pockets. With ozone, nearly everything that’s bad there dies. The virus, the fungus, the bacteria. Once the ozone touches it, it dies. The gas can infuse into all the little nooks and crannies and under the gum line.
We also use ozonated water to flush out all the bad stuff, too. All the bad bacteria. It works very well in gum disease treatment.
Does it have topical applications? Like if you had a wound on your arm?
Dr. Kozlow: It’s great for wound healing. It’s great for any kind of infection on the surface, any kind of viral thing it’s great for. If you get little herpes virus sores on your lips, or inside the mouth, it’s great for that. As a dentist, we focus on mouth treatments, of course.
How long has ozone been in use for medical and dental procedures?
Dr. Kozlow: Ozone’s been in use since the mid 1800’s in medicine. We, in dentistry, have been using it for about the last 80 years.
The equipment, the first ozone generator, was created here in this country around the turn of the century, 1890-something I think it was.
Can you describe the process of how we get Ozone?
Dr. Kozlow: We have an ozone generator. That’s how you get ozone. If you’ve ever been out in a thunderstorm where there’s some lightning, sometimes you’ll smell a very clean smell. That’s Ozone. What happens is the oxygen molecule, which is O2, when it’s charged with electricity breaks up into just single oxygen atoms and 3 of them form together. That’s Ozone.
The device we have is, like I say, is an ozone generator. We feed pure oxygen through a tube. There are 2 other tubes that generate an electrical charge and the oxygen, as it passes through then becomes Ozone. Ozone converts back to oxygen fairly rapidly when just sitting by itself.