Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hand in Mouth

"How are you today?", said the man in the mask.

"Awwwll Rwghhtrtsh", said I.

"Good. Does that hurt?", he asked.

"Flwgking Jyesesus Awlgbbrty", I said.

"How about that?", he interrogated.

"Yawlll Mumwas aee Whreoree", I cried.

"I'm going to scan you with a laser to check for any small holes.", he explained.

"Yuip gredi ownen wid itsh nwum ntsus", I said.

At this point I am laying with my legs about a foot higher than my head whilst a young fella has his hands in my mouth with a long pencil like thing that makes a melodic chime every few seconds. I was just expecting an examination and a clean-up of my teeth but I trust the man who is holding my tongue. I have no choice really.

When he's finished after about 15 minutes he sits me up and explains that he has scanned my teeth with a laser to look for microscopic holes that might contain bacteria that will cause holes. "Oh, really?", I said thinking what about just a clean up but assuming that this bit is coming next.

He explains that two of my teeth are a bit worn down from over zealous brushing and will need some repair work to protect the dentine. "Fine.", I say thinking at least it ain't a filling. He goes on with an explanation that there are 6 teeth where the bacteria have invaded the enamel that could form holes that will need to be filled. "Oh" say I thinking Bollocks.

But he goes on. There is (apparently) a new procedure that will kill the bacteria and so prevent the holes from ever forming; it is called HealOzone and is very effective. As it is new, it is a bit costly but is better than having fillings as it is pain free.

I leave after 25 minutes and $45 worse off and having made an appointment for a weeks time for a whole hour to treat 6 teeth with HealOzone and have 2 protective covers for the sensitive teeth, oh, and a clean-up. The estimate is way over $1,000.

As the day passes I start to wonder about this new super treatment. Knowing a bit about teeth (having achieved 'O levels and 'A levels in Biology many many years ago) I understood that once enamel was damaged, it had to be filled as it didn't just grow back. I also started to wonder what killing the bacteria would do because the thing about bacteria is they multiply and unless you have your entire mouth sterilised and never open your chops again, won't it just jump off another tooth and back to where it was?

And so the power of the interweb comes to use. I check out HealOzone. I try many searches for "HealOzone Scam, Fraud, issues, problems" but find nothing much except a few very interesting articles from dentists which are basically PR for the company concerned. I do find one very interesting article titled "
British Experts Question Value of HealOzone Treatment".

It also appears that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK have not recommended the use of HealOzone
unless it is part of a clinical trial. When you read the report it sounds like the treatment is useful for serious cases but ordinary brushing and mouth washes are as effective. It also highlights that bacteria would repopulate the area treated and be "well-established" about 2 weeks after treatment. It is well worth the read if you are thinking or have been convinced that this is the treatment for you. They are pretty damning on the evidence in favour of the product, which was supplied of course by the manufacturer and the key statement that "On the basis of the current evidence, the place of HealOzone in the treatment or management of dental caries is not proven. "

I don't know about you but at over $100 a tooth, I want something that absolutely guarantees that my teeth will be around long after I'm dead and buried. For $100 a tooth, I want future generations to dig up my grave and find a perfectly happy smile. I noticed that the UK prices were about £20-£25 which ain't no where near $100 boys and girls.

Since the only way to make a stand these days is to vote with your feet, I have cancelled my appointment and will change dentists. My next visit to a dentist will be a nice clean-up with no flashing lights and beepy toys; can anyone recommend a good dentist in the CBD who are not the "gentle" kind........?


  1. Jeff Jones - Symes De Silva. Lovely bloke.

  2. Cheers [big smile flashing bacteria laden teeth]

  3. Excellent information. Thank-you!

  4. Thanks for that. My dentist hasn't tried that one on me yet, but if he does at least I am now forearmed :)

  5. Glad to help Auckland Kiwi! Be ready to bite....