I am a little concerned about the response from Lisa W. Of course, I mean no disrespect to Lisa W. I would simply like to offer some professional advice.
I am a board-certified pediatric dentist and I strongly discourage using the “orange Listerine.” It contains approximately 21% alcohol!
Listerine does make a fluoride mouth rinse for kids called “Listerine Smart Rinse” which comes in 2 flavors and contains NO ALCOHOL.
Regarding Lisa W’s comments about enamel, removing dental decay with a handpiece will not weaken or “loosen” the remaining enamel. Enamel is the hardest mineralized tissue in your body. If it was so unstable, we would not ever be able to chew or eat comfortably.
Because enamel has such a high mineral content, it can be demineralized. This means that acids can dissolve enamel. When this happens, you have dental caries, which is the disease that causes “cavities.”
K., you didn’t mention the age of your son. Until he can spit thoroughly, you shouldn’t use a fluoride mouth rinse at all. And, fluoride toothpaste should be extremely limited or eliminated altogether until he can spit. Fluoride varnish may work to remineralize small carious lesions, but only your dentist would be able to advise you regarding the size and impact of the current decay on the tooth. I suspect that if outpatient surgery is being recommended, the lesions may be beyond any benefit from remineralization. And, the dentist likely believes that your son may not be able to tolerate having the treatment delivered in-office.
If the lesions cannot be remineralized, then treatment is indicated. Unfortunately, untreated cavities continue to progress. When they do, you may lose the opportunity of repair with a white filling and your son may need a crown and, possibly, pulp treatment.
Regarding ozone therapy, there is no reliable and consistent research that supports the idea that ozone gas can arrest or reverse the progression of dental caries. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry does not include ozone therapy in its Reference Manual. Therefore, its use by any dentist amounts to experimentation, at best. Experimentation is not what I would recommend for one of my pediatric patients.
I do agree with Lisa W. that you may want to consider a second opinion. Our parents are always encouraged to do so. This helps both the parent and the doctor. The parent is able get information from a fresh perspective and the doctor will feel comfortable that the parent is well advised and has made an informed decision.
I hope this information if helpful. You may email me with any other questions.
By the way, you have some pretty amazing pediatric dentists in your state.
Dr. David Tesini is in Sudbury, MA. He developed the “Toothprint,” which is a child identification technique. Dr. Joseph O’Donnell is in Winchester, MA. Both have been wonderful mentors.