Oxygen / Ozone in Dentistry

One of the most complex and perplexing problems in dentistry today is infection control.

The oral cavity is a sea of microorganisms normally living in balance with the entire human body. Under certain conditions pathogenic or “disease causing” micro-organisms can become the dominant life forms, thus creating what we call infection.

These pathogenic microorganisms live together in what is called a biofilm. This biofilm supports a mixed infection made up of bacteria, viruses, fungi and even parasites. The difficulty is that each of these “disease causing” types needs a different drug to eliminate its dominance.

What if we had an agent that could treat and eliminate the infection and, in addition, support the surrounding healthy tissue without toxic side effects? We do now with Oxygen/Ozone therapy for dentistry.

Ozone is energised oxygen. When ozone is introduced into the living system a “transient oxidative burst” is created. The ineffective microorganisms have no natural defence against this reaction, and, as a result, are overstressed and die. Thus, oxygen/ozone disinfects the area treated both safely and effectively. This “oxidative burst” also induces a multitude of natural biochemical and physiologic reactions. These reactions include better blood flow, enhanced immune response and a more rapid healing response.

With proper application, oxygen/ozone can enhance the outcome in many aspects of dentistry. For example, periodontal disease is a chronic gum and bone infection. By utilising the different applications of oxygen/ozone such as ozonated water and placing oxygen/ozone as a vapour into the infected gum pockets, periodontal disease can be arrested without the use of pharmaceutical drugs and associated side effects.

Ozone as a vapour can also be safely used to aid tissue repair after an extraction of a tooth or on mouth ulcers, cold sores and may help reduce dental decay. Your dentist will discuss whether oxygen/ozone therapy is suitable for your dental condition.


The scientific literature is vast in support of the effectiveness and safety of oxygen/ozone therapy. Historically, it was a Swiss dentist; E.A. Fisch in the early 1900’s who introduced the concept of oxygen/ozone in dentistry, followed by Dr E. Payr who introduced the treatment to the medical community. Scientifically we now understand how and why oxygen/ozone therapies work so well. This has led to many treatment advances in the last number of years, especially in dentistry. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has reviewed and accepted Oxygen/Ozone in Dentistry as scientifically valid.

It is not possible to be allergic to oxygen/ozone. Ozone is naturally formed by the sun and lightning during storms. Ozone is commonly used to sterilize the fruits and vegetables we eat and the bottled water we drink. It's used in air purification systems, commercial laundries, and swimming pools and spa baths. Without the ozone layer in the atmosphere, life could not exist on our planet.

Scientific References

Masato N., Kitamura C. et al. Antimicrobial Effect of Ozonated Water on Bacteria Invading Dentinal Tubules. J Endod. 2004, 30(11)778-781
Nagayochi M., Fukuizumi T., et al. Efficacy of ozone survival and permeability of oral microorganism. Oral Microbiology and Immunology, 2004 19 240-246
Mollica P., Harris R. Integrating oxygen/ozone therapy into your practice. 2007 Dental Economics (web magazine)
Baysan A., Lynch E. Effects of ozone on the oral microbiota and clinical severity of primary root caries. Am J Dent. 2004 17: 56-60
Bocci V. Oxygen/Ozone therapy. A critical evaluation. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002: 1-440
Julian K., Blackburn JC. et al . Reduction of Microbial-Derived Components in Dental unit Water Lines by Ozonated Water. Restorative Dentistry and Gerdontology, School of Dentistry, Queens University 2008, abstract.
Ali M., Mollica P., Harris R. Of Metalicized Mouths, Mycotoxicosis, and Oxygen. Townsend Letter, 2006 6 73-76.
Silveria A., Lopes H., et al . Periradicular Repair after two-visit endodontic treatment using different intracanal medications compared to single-visit endodontic treatment. Braz Dent J 18(4): 299-304.
Schmidlin PR., Zimmermann J., Bindl A . Effect of ozone on enamel and dentin bond strength. J Adhes Dent 2005 7: 29-32.