Overview - Dentistry

This broad-brush outline of Electronic Microbicidal Technology is intended for dental professionals


We’re so used to treating infections with pills, potions, lotions and injections, it’s easy to forget that micro-organisms can often more effectively be killed by ‘physical’ methods such as ultra-violet light, and – much more safely – by bombarding them with a concentrated stream of electrically-charged air particles. This is the method used by the Dentron Biogun family of devices to treat a wide variety of conditions from tooth decay to mouth ulcers. The method is completely safe, painless and free from side-effects. Dosage control is fully automatic, and it is impossible to administer an overdose.



In principle, any infection on a conductive surface such as skin or dentine is suitable for Biogun treatment, but it is used specifically in dentistry for:

·      dental caries, which can now be treated without ‘drilling and filling’, lesions being fissure-sealed or remineralised; when traditional restorative techniques are demanded, the Biogun can be used to sterilise the cavity

·      candidiasis, including angular cheilitis (one treatment only)

·      periodontitis

·      gingivitis

·      mouth ulcers



The Biogun produces a concentrated stream of gaseous anions, of which the principal biologically-active species is the superoxide radical anion (O2.-). This acts as a nucleophile on the phospholipid bilayer of microbial cells, causing a de-esterification of the fatty acids and consequent lysis of the cell membrane. Charged gas particles easily penetrate tubules which liquid agents cannot enter.



The Biogun is simplicity itself to use: an emitter is inserted into the handpiece through a standard curing-light sheath and pointed at the surface to be treated from a distance of about 6 mm. The dentist wears an ‘earthing’ wristband and the patient wears a small electrode pad during treatment, which is completely non-contact: all the patient normally feels is a gentle, cooling breeze. A built-in audio-visual proximity detector indicates when a suitable surface is within range, and an audible signal tracks the passage of time. The device is controlled by a footswitch and powered by an internal rechargeable battery. One charge lasts about a week in normal use.



Viability tests on cultured human keratinocytes, microscopic examination of treated human skin and comet assays on buccal mucosa cells treated in vivo reveal no adverse effects, even over exposure periods much longer than those used in practice. There are no harmful side-effects, and it is impossible to administer an overdose. The only by-product is a small amount of ozone: while this can only assist the microbicidal process, the use of an aspirator prevents it from entering the airways.



In laboratory tests and clinical trials, Biogun technology has killed over 40 representative types of micro-organism – Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, pseudomonads, aerobic and anaerobic spore-forming bacilli and yeasts. It even eradicates MRSA.



The Biogun distinguishes between virally-invaded cells and normal skin cells, and it is therefore useful in the treatment of mouth ulcers.



The Biogun exerted a significant effect on the perceived treatment needs of primary root caries lesions. This effect was manifest after 3 and 6 months to a significantly greater extent in the test group compared with the control group. Dr E Lynch, Senior Lecturer, Department of Conservative Dentistry, St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London; Professor D Beighton, Oral Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons, Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London. Report on the Negative Air Ion Generator ("Biogun").


It’s non-invasive; it doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals; it’s totally accepted by all the patients.

Dr Robert Hempleman, Brompton Dental Clinic, London.



Kellogg EW, Yost MG, Barthakur N, Kreuger AP. Superoxide involvement in the bactericidal effects of negative air ions on Staphylococcus albus. Nature 1979;281:400-401

Cousins D, Copus J, Wilson M. Microbicidal effects of negative air ions. J Dent Res 1991;70:709,315

Burke FM, Lynch E, Beighton D, Ludford R. Negative Air Ion effect on the viability of Candida albicans isolated from active primary root-caries. Irish Division, IADR, Belfast, 1995a, Abstract #5

Burke FM, Lynch E, Beighton D, Ludford R. Negative Air Ion effect on the viability of Actinomyces naeslundii isolated from active primary root-caries. Caries Res 1995b;29:296,16

Burke FM, Samarawickrama DYD, Johnson ND, Beighton D, Lynch E. Use of Negative Air Ion treatment on carious microflora. J Dent Res 1995d;74:952,28

Shargawi JW, Drucker DB, Duxbury AJ. Effect of negative air ion (NAI) streams on Candida albicans. J Dent Res 1995;74:887,526