Am I a Good Candidate for Accelerated Orthodontics?
In our fast-paced society, we want everything instantaneously so the thought of a wearing braces for a couple of years probably seems like a tortuous proposition. While good things like a beautiful smile are certainly worth waiting for, what if you could speed up the teeth straightening process?
Accelerated Orthodontics is when additional treatment is added to the braces to help get you to a straighter, more beautiful smile. There are different types of accelerated orthodontics that your orthodontist can offer you.
AcceleDent is a FDA-cleared medical device that you can use at home to stimulate the bone remodeling needed to properly align your teeth. The SoftPulse technology used in the device allows a consistent gentle pressure to be applied to the teeth. This pressure in conjunction with the pressure being asserted by the braces allows the repositioning of teeth to happen more quickly. Most patients see results after using it for just 20 minutes a day. You can cut your treatment length almost in half with this device.
How does it work: You insert the mouthpiece attached to the lightweight device around your braces or aligners. AcceleDent also contains a usage indicator that tracks how many sessions and how many minutes per session you have worn the device. This data can also easily be shared with your orthodontist. This device is only available by prescription from your orthodontist.
Propel Chairside Excellator is another accelerated orthodontic treatment option. This one has to be done in the orthodontist’s office though. Sometimes your doctor can use it during your normal orthodontic appointments, but that is not always the case. Ask him or her if you need to set up a separate appointment to take advantage of this treatment. The Propel system also accelerates the bone metabolism and shortens the duration of treatment.
Minor oral surgery in which your gums and bones are shaved to allow your teeth to move easier is also an option. But keep in mind that even minor surgery comes with its own risks.
Am I a good candidate for accelerated orthodontics?
If you have an important event like a wedding or graduation coming up where you would love to show off your new straighter, more beautiful smile than accelerated orthodontics would be a good option for you. Even if you need more in-depth work because of a severe bite or spacing issue, you will see quicker results with these technologies. Unfortunately some dental issues are not a good candidate for accelerated treatment so consult with your orthodontist about what is best for your particular situation.
Sometimes cost can also be prohibitive. Accelerated orthodontic treatment is an additional cost to your braces and it is usually not covered by insurance. The AcceleDent device generally costs about $800 to $900. It is up to you if you have the extra money and if getting your braces off quicker is worth it to you.
When making your decision about whether to try an accelerated orthodontic technique, you really need to weigh the benefits against the risks and whether or not you can afford it. Get as much information as you can before making any final decisions.
Looking for a more natural approach?
If you are concerned about putting too much pressure on your teeth and prefer a more natural approach, there are other ways to accelerate your treatment. First of all, make sure that you follow your orthodontist’s instructions exactly.
By not taking proper care of your braces and teeth, you could be adding time to treatment instead of shortening it. For example, eating hard candy could damage the brackets and not cleaning your teeth properly could lead to cavities and other complications.
Make sure you wear the elastics your orthodontist might give you and don’t skip out on any of your appointments. If there are long gaps between you appointments, it could delay you treatment tremendously. Wear an orthodontic mouthguard while playing sports to protect against bent wires and busted brackets as well as damaged teeth and try to cut up your food into bite sized pieces to avoid any damage from the food you are eating.
Also avoid clenching your jaw which can also affect how your teeth move. While all these things are what you should be doing anyway, it might surprise you how much your treatment can be delayed when you don’t follow the instructions.
The most important thing is that you don’t try to move your teeth on your own. Don’t let your impatience to be done with treatment push you into something you might regret later. With homemade remedies and DIY approaches, you have no real guidance or safety net. There is no one telling you that you are doing right or wrong. It is much better to use an orthodontic-approved approach and have what you are doing monitored by the orthodontist. Why risk causing damage to your teeth and delaying your treatment instead of accelerating it?
Another thing to remember is that each patient’s mouth is different so while accelerated techniques work, be prepared that they might not work as fast as you’d like if you have a particularly complex case. Keep an open dialogue going with your orthodontist every step of the way so you are not surprised at any stage of treatment. Remember that it is more important that you get the end result you want in a safe and effective manner than it is how quickly you get there.
If you are really serious about cutting down the time you have to wear braces, you’re best bet is to consult with a couple of orthodontists even before you choose the type of braces you will wear. Let them know your time constraints and talk to them about the pros and cons of Invisalign aligners vs. metal braces. Then ask them their opinion on accelerated orthodontics techniques and what they think would be best for your situation. Discuss if there are any risks with using any of these techniques. This way your orthodontic plan right from the start is geared to a fast, but safe and effective approach.