3 The technology

3 The technology

3.1 HealOzone is a medical device that is manufactured by KaVo and CE marked for the treatment of pit and fissure caries and root caries. The HealOzone treatment system comprises an ozone delivery device, a mineral reductant used by the dentist and a 'patient kit' (fluoride-containing toothpaste, mouthwash and mouth spray) for home use. The mineral reductant and patient kit are accessories to the ozone delivery device.

3.2 The HealOzone device delivers ozone at a concentration of 2100 parts per million to the site of dental caries on the tooth surface for between 10 and 120 seconds to destroy the cariogenic microorganisms. A mineral reductant is then applied to the tooth to neutralise residual bacterial acid, remove any residual ozone and provide minerals for the remineralisation process. The patient then uses the fluoride-containing patient kit for several weeks to remineralise the tooth before returning to the dentist for assessment. HealOzone treatment may be repeated at intervals of 3 and 6 months if the caries has not reversed, or restorative treatment may be carried out.

3.3 Lesions may also be treated with HealOzone before sealant placement (it is hypothesised that this improves sealant retention), and cavitated lesions may be treated before filling placement (it is hypothesised that this improves the longevity of restorations).

3.4 The capital cost of the HealOzone device is £11,950 (excluding VAT), with annual maintenance costs of between £220 and £450, depending on the service contract. The average estimated cost of adding HealOzone to conventional treatment (excluding capital and maintenance costs) ranges from £18 to £21 per tooth, depending on the type of dental caries. HealOzone is not currently available on the NHS.