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Dr. O’Rielly has been using ozone and the Fotona laser to prevent root canals and treat root canal infections since 2018.

When combined in certain types of treatments, these advanced technologies provide stunning results.

To learn how ozone/laser treatments have been used to prevent root canals at Integrative Dentistry, please read on.

How Does Ozone Help to Prevent Root Canals?

Ozone is really concentrated oxygen, and is an amazing technology available to dentists. When applied to teeth, it kills the bacteria embedded in the tooth structure. Since ozone is very concentrated and aggressive, it is extremely effective at killing the bacteria that causes cavities.

Ozone also kills the bacteria in the thousands of microtubules left over after the cavity is treated. So there is less chance of the bacteria continuing to irritate the nerve and even leak into the root canal tissue.

If the dentist is confident that all the bacteria causing tooth decay and cavities has been killed,, then he/she doesn’t have to be as aggressive in removing all affected tooth structure. This prevents the risk of going into the pulp, which usually causes a root canal infection. 

Here are the benefits of ozone gas when applies to the tooth after decay removal:

  • Kills remaining bacteria in the tooth structure and tubules
  • Allows dentist to be less aggressive, thereby not risking exposing the nerve of the tooth
  • Lowers inflammation of the delicate pulp tissue
  • Stimulates the tooth to heal faster and re-mineralize the remaining tooth structure

What’s New in 2022

The new protocol Dr. O’Rielly has developed this year is an upgrade to the ozone fillings he has been doing for the last 10 years. Ozone has allowed him to save many, many teeth from needing root canals. Recently, however, he made improvements for patients in difficult situations. This new protocol makes it possible for patients to have composite fillings, rather than crowns and the root canal therapy that sometimes accompanies them.

Dr. O’Rielly now treats deep fillings utilizing laser light of different frequencies, to safely stimulate the healing potential of the tooth. He is careful not to produce any heat in the process. These frequencies increase blood flow, lower inflammation, and increase stem cell activity in the tooth. People often associate lasers with beams of light that cut; however the beams can be modulated so that the light frequencies stimulate and heal the teeth, rather than cut them.

Another addition to the new protocol is to use a material that perfectly seals the tooth when there is deep decay. This prevents any leakage underneath the filling, especially when the filling is deep. This advanced material ensures that the tooth is sealed completely and there is no leakage.

What’s Different about the Composite I Use

Everyone likes composite filling material, as it is tooth colored and not metal. However, there are some definite disadvantages to it:

  • It contracts when cured, leaving the potential of leakage
  • Unless it is bonded perfectly, there is the possibility of tooth sensitivity
  • If it is placed at or below the gum level, it usually leaks because
  • Composite absolutely hates moisture

Dr. O has found a composite material that is better for deep decay because it has very unique properties:

  1. It’s dual cure, which means that it sets by itself AND with the traditional curing light
  2. It is flowable and not a paste , which means that is gets into every nook and cranny
  3. It seals better than other composites because it expands slightly, rather than contracting
  4. It can be used at or below the gum level safely, as it will still bond to the tooth

My Tooth Hurts and I’ve Been Told I Need a Root Canal– Can Laser Ozone Help Me?

In the past, unfortunately, usually the answer to this question was no. However, ever since he started using ozone after removing deep cavities, Dr. O’Rielly has avoided numerous root canals. This has happened even with painful teeth that have been condemned to root canal therapy by other dentists. 

Dr. O attributes this to the tooth being sanitized by the ozone, eliminating all the bacteria that erodes tooth structure. Ozone application, along with laser treatment, encourages minerals from the pulp itself to re-mineralize and harden it. This is how the health of the tooth is re-established. 

Images of A Recent Case

Deep Cavities usually causing Root Canal

Here is an x-ray of teeth with deep cavities, that can be seen in the shadows on the necks of the teeth. The previous dentist wanted to do crowns. This would most likely have resulted in root canals, because the decay extends down the roots and under the gum line, almost to the level of the bone. This makes these cavities difficult to restore and seal correctly.

Root cavities

This is the same x-ray showing the decay with red arrows, eating into the side of the tooth.

Sometimes the decay is actually deeper than it appears on the images, as in this case. It was very close to the nerves of the teeth, which can be seen as the darker line or canal in the center of the teeth. 

In this image, lines show where the dental work should not cross, as it would mean the dental work is extending or perforating into the tooth’s nerve.

The root canal houses the delicate nerve and blood supply of the tooth. If this pulp tissue is violated, it usually always results in a root canal infection.

Laser ozone filling

Here’s the finished x-ray after the composite has been placed. The white, radiopaque areas are the fillings. The red arrows represent the deepest part of the fillings. Even though the fillings are deep, the nerve was not exposed. Also notice that the filling margins are perfectly sealed, made possible only by the types of composites used. Because of the ozone, laser and how well the fillings were sealed, the patient had no post-operative pain or discomfort afterward.

In Summary

What can be done before the bacteria that causes cavities invades and kills the nerve of the tooth? The answer is ozone, combined with laser bio-stimulation. Once the ozone is applied to the tooth, and it breaks down to simple oxygen and kills the harmful bacteria without causing further trauma to the tooth and nerve, so there is less risk of a root canal. Followed by laser treatment, the tooth can heal with minimal discomfort.

Dr. O’Rielly routinely uses ozone alone when working on teeth, as there is nothing more familiar or healing to the body than oxygen. Additionally, this technology has improved with the addition of laser treatment. The light frequency from the laser further enhances the ability of the tissue to heal.  

The number of root canals Dr. O’rielly has avoided by using ozone has only increased since 2018! And now, with the addition of a new protocol that includes some more advanced dental materials along with the laser, there has been success even in advanced cases of deep root decay.  This advanced Laser/Ozone treatment will allow for even more root canal prevention in 2023!