Is My Kid a Good Candidate for Accelerated Orthodontics?

A woman smiling with braces on her teeth.

It is usually the thought of having to wear braces for a few years that people dread the most when they hear the dentist say they need braces. But what if you could reduce the amount of time you have to wear them with accelerated orthodontics?

If your child has a big event coming up like a dance or a graduation or even a big school interview, he or she is probably dreading having to sport a mouth full of metal during these special moments. While there is no guarantee of a specific deadline for when the braces can come off, accelerated orthodontics can quicken up the process quite substantially.

At this point you are probably asking, is my kid a good candidate for accelerated orthodontics? Here is what you need to know to make that decision:

What Is Accelerated Orthodontics?

Basically, accelerated orthodontics refers to techniques or appliances used in addition to braces that speed up tooth movement and reduce overall treatment time sometimes almost in half. There are several different techniques available including minor oral surgery, but not every orthodontist offers each type of treatment.

Here are some of the most common:

AcceleDent Aura – this is a hands-free appliance that your child wears about 20 minutes a day over the braces. It uses SoftPulse Technology to emit micropulses that apply extra forces to move the teeth quicker, but don’t worry, the forces exerted is still less than what your teeth are subjected to during normal chewing.

AcceleDent Aura is gentle, lightweight and easy to use. Your child simply inserts the mouthpiece attached to the lightweight device around her braces or aligners. A usage indicator on the device tracks how many sessions and how many minutes per session it has been worn and this data can also easily be shared with your orthodontist. It is only available via prescription from your orthodontist.

PROPEL Chairside Excellator – this technology helps stimulate bone remodeling so that the teeth are more likely to move into their ideal position and do it faster. Through a procedure called Alveocentesis, the PROPEL system focuses specifically on the stimulation of the alveolar bone both in the upper and lower jaw so that as teeth shift the bone that holds the teeth is strong enough to make the needed adjustments. This can be especially beneficial for adult orthodontic patients who experience both less bone development and a slower rate of teeth movement.

Unlike AcceleDent Aura though, this one has to be done in the orthodontist’s office. Some doctors will perform the procedure during your regular orthodontic appointment, but that is not always possible. Sometimes your doctor can use it during your normal orthodontic appointments, but that is not always the case. Make sure you ask about this upfront, especially if time is an important factor for you.

Oral Surgery – Another option is to have minor oral surgery before the braces are put on. During this procedure, your child’s gums and bones are shaved and reshaped to make the whole process of shifting teeth a lot easier and quicker.

Pros and Cons of Accelerated Orthodontics

Accelerated Orthodontics is not for everyone so it is important that you carefully consider all the pros and cons before making a decision about whether your child should take the accelerated approach. While the ability to shave time of your child’s orthodontic treatment sounds great, make sure you do your research first.

Of course, the biggest benefit of choosing accelerated orthodontics is that your child will only have to wear braces for a shorter amount of time. Another benefit is that these techniques work with any type of braces so your child can wear the metal, ceramic, Invisalign aligners or even lingual braces which go on the inside of the teeth. Your child will have a healthier, more beautiful smile in no time at all.

On the flip side, there are some cons you should keep in mind as well. First of all, because accelerated orthodontics is still a relatively new field, there isn’t a whole lot of research on the long-term safety and effectiveness of it, but the clinical trials that have been done like those on the AcceleDent Aura have shown accelerated orthodontics to be safe and gentle on the teeth, and also effective. More data is needed, however. Secondly, cost can be prohibitive for some families. Accelerated orthodontics is not covered by insurance and is an additional cost on top of the braces themselves. This might not be feasible for families who are already struggling to afford just the braces.

A smaller disadvantage is that because your child’s teeth will be moving a lot quicker, you will end up taking him or her for more frequent appointments. So that is something to consider if taking time off from work is a hardship.
When it comes to the minor oral surgery, in particular, it is important to remember that even though it is a minor procedure, all surgeries have risks, including infection. Have a honest conversation with your child’s doctor about whether the risks of surgery are worth it for your child.

Finally, accelerated orthodontics does not work for every orthodontic patient. For patients with more complicated bites or alignment issue or poor oral health, these techniques might not be as effective. It is best to consult with your child’s orthodontist about your child’s particular situation. After a thorough dental examination including X-rays, they will be able to recommend the best course of action. Don’t be afraid though to go on consultations with a few orthodontists to make sure you know about all your child’s options.

If your child only needs a minor correction, has an important event coming up, and you have the extra money, then accelerated orthodontics can help your child get that healthier, more beautiful smile in a lot shorter time. If your child has a more complicated situation or money is an issue though, traditional orthodontics will still give your child great results. It will just take longer. But patience is a virtue, right?

Think accelerated orthodontics might be right for your child? Contact Orthodontics Limited for more information.