Posts Tagged ‘ozone dentistry’

Metal versus Ceramic Dental Implants

Over the relatively short history of dental implants, titanium was determined the choice material for implant designs. Titanium, when installed correctly, could withstand the workload of the human jaw most similarly to natural teeth. This metal had a lower risk of complications compared to other metals, and it boasted the best bone integration success rate. Titanium is the “default” material that you will find in practices that perform implant surgeries. It is less expensive, and for the majority of the population, it adequately meets patients’ needs.

There are some downsides, naturally. “Low-risk” does not mean “no-risk.”  Implant complications usually involve infection at the site or weakness due to failed osseointegration (merging with bone like a tooth’s root). Implants are a little higher-maintenance at the crown; careful cleaning must become a habit so bacteria do not grow in the microscopic crevices between implant segments. Also, a small percentage of the population is severely allergic to titanium. The allergy can be tested for ahead of time. Holistic-minded patients and those seeking to detox and heal their physical health should be aware that titanium, like any metal, will find its way into the bloodstream. As long as titanium implants are installed in a patient’s jaw, presence of metal in the blood and underlying health disruptions will be permanent.

Metal-free zirconium ceramic implants are new to the U.S. market, but have been the choice implants of Europe and Canada for a while. American biological dentists have long been awaiting an alternative to titanium. Patients also seeking this alternative are heaving sighs of relief, particularly those few who are physiologically sensitive to metal.

Zirconium is more expensive than titanium, but the cost covers tangible benefits that titanium cannot promise. Zirconium is just as strong as — if not stronger than — titanium or titanium alloy. It is similar to human bone in structure, thus providing the strength needed to withstand the jaw’s pressure of daily movement when chewing or biting. Because it contains no metal, the body does not reject it as a foreign object or a toxin. This creates a stronger bond and integration into the facial and jaw bones, which means the implant will last a very long time — a lifetime, if installation is done well.

The absence of metal also promotes better health in the surrounding tissues. Fewer, if any, bacterial infections occur if the implant and crown are carefully maintained with daily hygiene. Also, sometimes titanium implants will show off slight grayish discoloration around the gum line. Zirconium implants are all white, just like a natural tooth, and will not cause aesthetic disturbances. Patients’ satisfaction tends to be higher with ceramic as well.

As a holistically-minded dentist, I prefer using zirconium over titanium any day… if you couldn’t tell. But I offer both, and many patients are content to settle for titanium if they have tested negative for allergies. Not to mention, implants by themselves are not an end-all solution. Restoring a dying tooth successfully and preventing the need for an implant in the first place is certainly a better route to take. With the aid of ozone gas and a dental laser, restoring a tooth to health is more viable than many people (other dentists included) think! Sometimes, on the other hand, implants are the best way to go. I will answer questions and provide all the information patients need so they can make the best decision for themselves.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


Dental Care While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, Pt. 2

Most moms and moms-to-be know that dental care is recommended throughout pregnancy, since hormonal changes can cause more of a susceptibility to discomfort and infection. Dental problems also may bring to light a more serious underlying problem that these mothers should be aware of. Though it is my personal opinion that most dental evaluation and care should be taken care of before conception (a long time before conception if mercury removal is involved), I believe that light, routine dental care, such as cleanings or mild gingivitis treatment can be safe and effective during pregnancy.

Since my practice uses ozone in place of many harsher chemicals and typical dental medications, much can be done without fretting about affecting babies in utero or through mom’s milk. Healing is accelerated and accomplished more naturally when ozone is used. An already concerned mother should never be forced to compromise between “following the doctor’s orders” by getting dental care but exposing her developing children to drugs and toxins. Cleaning is harmless if there are no mercury fillings to agitate.

Many of the common drugs, painkillers, antibiotics, anesthetics, etc. used in the dentist’s office have been declared “safe,” or at least not significantly detrimental for a pregnant or nursing mother. A good dentist is cognizant of the most recent information regarding safe substances for his pregnant or nursing patients. For many patients, the reassurance that those substances are safe enough is all they need. However, others want to remain as clean and toxin-free as possible. I lean toward this side myself. Even if no adverse effects are found on growing babies, inside or outside the womb, there is no guarantee that there are other long-term consequences for dental drug exposure. Every drug is a foreign substance to the body; every drug is designed to manipulate certain functions in order to successfully carry out a medical purpose. In many cases they are lifesavers and great aids in the process of healing and managing pain.

But there is always, always a consequence, seen or unseen, for this medical/dental intervention or manipulation. It is only logical to conclude that delicately growing babies will be affected to some degree. We may not see it right away. It may remain undetected as the baby grows into childhood, then adulthood, and accumulates other health problems that would never be connected with Mom’s treatments while pregnant or nursing. The important thing is to educate yourself as best you can and make the best decisions for your family’s health.

I’ll get to the practical side of things in the next post.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

How Ozone Promotes Speedy Recoveries

Because ozone is so effective in destroying vast amounts of bacteria and germs so quickly, one may look forward to a quick recovery from an ozone-assisted therapy or rehabilitation. The bacteria are virtually nonexistent during treatment, and for a while thereafter. They therefore cannot multiply and spread as fast as they could originally. Also, because these bacteria are not present, the body’s natural immune system is given its chance to shine and “focus” on healing the battle wounds instead of constantly fighting the losing battle.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Other Benefits of Using Ozone in Dentistry

Last fall, I was told that using ozone in my dentistry would bring major changes to my practice; more convenience, less occupied office space, and a one-solution-works-for-all ease of use really has upped our efficiency and, yes, quality, too, of dentistry. For one, you may look forward to a quicker visit. Ozone, in the gas form, can reach into the tiniest cracks and crannies in your tooth, and cleanliness is guaranteed during your root canal or gum disease treatment.

Also, this high sterilization, unlike drugs, medications, or other harmful ways of destroying bad bacteria in your mouth (AND the good bacteria, for that matter), is completely side-effect-free, causes no allergic reactions, and works at the same level of powerful decontamination for every single person.

Ozone is particularly wonderful in that it maintains aesthetic qualities; it does not damage any tooth surfaces, other hard tissues, or soft tissues. Past methods of removing an infected area of tooth included actually removing the bacteria-laden tooth structure itself with lasers, drills, air abrasion, etc., to remove the bacteria! Practicing holistic dentistry and restoring teeth with minimal invasion of the natural structure, ozone works great for us. It almost “washes out” the infection with no deterioration, damage, or discomfort.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Ozone and Periodontal Disease… Again!

I just went over how ozone is beneficial to the root canal therapy procedure, but it definitely doesn’t stop there. Ozone’s uses for treating periodontal disease (a.k.a. gum disease) are numerous as well.

Periodontal disease can develop as a result of a number of causes, one of them most commonly being a simple lack of thorough and committed brushing and flossing of teeth. Other causes, such as tooth damage, injury, bad habits (smoking, tobacco, junk food, etc.), or another present disease. Symptoms of periodontal disease and gum recession might even be an allergic reaction to a certain food, substance, or medication; but that is something that should be looked into by your physician. The symptoms of gum disease might range from mere gum soreness or inflammation to severe deterioration of hard and soft tissues in and around the mouth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.

There are a few options for treatment, depending on the severity of the case: a deep-cleaning or surgery. Both require absolute sterility to be successful and to heal properly, and, of course, this is where ozone is again put to work. Ozone attacks and eliminates the bacteria and infectious organisms, providing successful treatment and a healthy environment for quick healing. Ozone is safe for the whole body and leaves no side effects or allergic reactions like medications or drugs do.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles