Our healthcare landscape is rapidly changing due to technology. Dental practices have been very proactive about incorporating new technology in the 21st century, thanks in part to some amazing inventions in the medical industry. In dentistry, the use of ozonated water for dentists is one of the most important discoveries.
What is Ozone?
Not all connotations of ozone are positive. Many people think of air pollution when they hear the word. In fact, ozone is an important component of our environment. Ozone (triatomic oxygen or trioxygen) is a naturally occurring compound composed of three oxygen atoms. We need the ozone layer to prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching our skin, which can sometimes lead to skin cancer. Home, commercial, and industrial use are all possible with the ozone generator. You can learn more about ozone generator applications here.
Purification plants around the world use ozone to treat water. Fruits and vegetables are also treated with ozone. In other words, ozone sterilizes naturally. Over the past few decades, ozone has become increasingly popular as a means to aid the healing process after injury and disease. It works well. We can use it to combat microorganisms that are complex. Thankfully, low doses of ozone do not cause any damage to our human cells. Even dentistry uses ozonated water. For dentists, preventing biofilm from contaminating the water flowing through dental units is a major problem. Dentists’ high-speed handpieces, air/water syringes, and ultrasonic scalers rely on dental unit waterlines to transport water. Dental staff and patients are exposed to highly toxic aerosols every day from these tubes.
What is Biofilm?
An example of a biofilm can be found inside the water lines inside dental units, which are damp and covered with a thin, slimy film. Dental unit waterlines are prone to developing biofilms due to the long, narrow tubing and the slow or stopped flow rates used in dental clinics, as well as the possibility of patients retraction of oral fluids. A high number of dental water systems are contaminated with common water bacteria as a result.
In order to ensure clean water in dental offices, the CDC recommends flushing the water lines with tap water daily. However, this does not eliminate biofilm. Legionella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and nontuberculous Mycobacterium can all be found in untreated dental unit water.
When water is not sufficiently treated, not only are patients at risk, but also dental health care personnel. The water lines in dentists’ offices were previously disinfected with a combination of chemicals and multistep processes. But over the past few years, ozone has been increasingly adopted as a safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective disinfection method.
How Ozone Kills Bacteria in Dental Waterlines?
The active gas ozone (O3) is composed of three oxygen atoms. With the formation of free oxygen atoms or free radicals, it readily degrades back to its stable state, diatomic oxygen (O2). Ozone is an extremely powerful disinfectant and oxidizer because it is made of highly reactive free oxygen atoms. Open-air ozone can oxidize virtually anything it contacts (including viruses, bacteria, organic compounds, and inorganic compounds).
Ozone is an excellent alternative to standard disinfectants and a valuable additive to them due to its well-known disinfectant properties. By directly oxidizing and decomposing essential biomolecular components in bacteria, ozone water has powerful antimicrobial properties. After applying ozone for just a few seconds, all vital functions of bacteria (unable to develop any self-immunity) are halted, and dental unit water lines can be disinfected within short time.
Researchers found bacteria in 100 percent of dental unit water lines when testing untreated water lines, compared with only 72 percent of tap water samples. Tap water is therefore cleaner than untreated waterlines from untreated dental units.
The first dental unit water bottle was injected with aqueous ozone for five minutes. The second unit was injected with ozone for ten minutes. Water was then flushed through the lines using ozonated water for five minutes, and then sampled in sterile containers immediately afterward using a high-speed handpiece. This was carried out every morning for seven days. Both before and after samples were collected. To determine the presence of Acanthamoeba bacteria before and after ozone exposure, all samples were cultured in nutrient agar and incubated at 37 °C for 7 days.
Upon exposure of Acanthamoeba bacteria to ozonated water at several concentrations, researchers discovered a 52 percent reduction in cell viability after four minutes, and a 100% mortality after five minutes. Dental practices have begun using aqueous ozone systems because of this.
Ozonated Water For Dentists
It is evident that ozonated water is an effective tool in preventing the spread of bacteria during dental procedures, making it a valuable dental tool in keeping patients and dental staff safe. During dental procedures, patients will feel at ease knowing they won’t be exposed to contaminated water.
The use of ozone water reduces or even stops tooth decay in its early stages and promotes good oral health. By using re-mineralization, it eliminates bacteria and promotes repair. Cavities damage your teeth, and this is a good way to repair them.
As well as stopping tooth decay, ozone accelerates the healing process. Especially during the early stages of decay, this can be beneficial.
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