No pain… No injections… No drilling… No filling…? True ?
I prefer to avoid filling teeth. I truly hate to have to drill and fill teeth in young kids, so anything that can get me and my patients away from drilling and injections is very exciting.
The KaVo Healozone is changing the face of dentistry. We now have a revolutionary new technology for the safe and effective, pain free treatment of decay with ozone (O3). Ozone kills the acid producing bacteria that can grow out of control and cause decay.
How does this all work?
Ideally, decay should be caught early, before serious damage has occurred. Firstly we use a clever device called the KaVo Diagnodent. This machine has made a dramatic change in the dentist’s ability to accurately diagnose decay. It can ‘see’ decay before an ‘x-ray’ shows anything. A soft laser shines a specific wavelength of light into the tooth. The laser light causes de-mineralised (damaged) tooth structure and bacteria present to fluoresce. A return sensor then quantifies the amount of fluorescence, giving an indication of damage below the surface of the tooth. We are now finding that fissures (grooves in bite surfaces of back teeth) which until now we thought were simply stained are actually actively decaying at the bottom of those fissures. This in turn gives us the chance to treat the decay earlier and in a much less invasive way. Dentists call this modern approach ‘minimally invasive dentistry’.
The Healozone machine has a special rubber cup, which is placed on the area of decay. Ozone gas (O3 – a relative of oxygen present normally in the atmosphere) is introduced into the damaged part of the tooth under this cup. You feel absolutely nothing as we do this. It generally takes a 40 second application of ozone to kill 99% of bacteria from the damaged area of tooth. The healing part of the treatment takes place over the next few weeks, provided you clean and rinse well with fluoride to provide minerals to repair the damaged tooth. Sometimes we then seal over the top of the fissure with a white sealant or filling. Mostly we can do this treatment with no drilling at all. Sometimes, if decay has been left too long, we need to remove some of the outer enamel to make a proper job that lasts. Then we use the air abrasion technique, which is so gentle that you can cut an eggshell without cracking it. This form of treatment has so many applications and new ones are being developed.
The greatest use for ozone treatment at present is in children, where for example, treatment of any one tooth with decay costs £46 (this treatment is not available under the NHS). If more than one tooth needs treatment, each additional tooth costs £23. Children registered with Denplan also qualify for this treatment.
Where drilling is unavoidable, another application of ozone means we don’t need to drill away so much of your tooth – instead we clean out the outer layer of damaged tooth with the drill, then treat the inner layer with ozone. In this way we preserve more natural tooth structure and the nerve is less likely to die as a result of a larger filling.
We can even use ozone to kill cold sores viruses to help stop and heal the sore very quickly – just give us a phone call next time you feel one developing and we will fit you in between appointments that day to treat the cold sore inexpensively. We are awaiting data to see whether or not treatment with ozone will be beneficial under new fillings to preserve their lifespan. There is really too much to tell here of all that HealOzone can do, so I think I’ll stop now. If you want to know more, click on this link.