Can ozone be used to whiten teeth?

By staff writers

November 16, 2010 -- Ozone shows promise as a stain-removal agent for teeth, according to a new study in Acta Odotontologica Latinoamericana (August 2010, Vol. 23:2, pp. 84-89).

Researchers from the University of Buenos Aires wanted to evaluate the efficacy of using ozone to lighten tetracycline-stained incisors. They randomly assigned 40 young rats to one of three groups. Two control groups, C21, and C60 (n = 8, each) were used to document the usual age-related color. The third group (n = 24) received 0.25 g% of oxytetracycline (O) until 60 days of age. These rats were subsequently divided into three further groups: O0, O3 and O5 (n = 8, each).

The rats were anesthetized; O3 and O5 groups received ozone application to the lower incisors for 3 (group O3) or 5 minutes (group O5), respectively; while O0 did not receive the ozone treatment. Teeth were then photographed and the incisors from the control (C60) and treatment groups (O0, O3, and O5) were cut, and compared to a standard color guide (eight shades, numbered 0 to 7, lightest to darkest) to assess the hue visually. The teeth were then placed in phosphoric acid to quantify the color by spectrophotometry.

Visual observation showed that groups O3 and O5 had diminished yellowing of the teeth as compared to the untreated O0 group (p < 0.001). The color quantified by spectrophotometry also detected significant differences among groups (O3 < O0, p < 0.01; O5 < O0, p < 0.001; and O5 < 03, p < 0.01). C21 and C60 were significantly different among groups (p < 0.001).

This is the first experimental study to show that ozone can be successfully used for lightening the yellowish tinge of tetracycline-stained rat incisors, concluded the researchers, noting that further studies are required to determine ozone's potential use for this application in dental practices.

Copyright © 2010


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