Why Rushing Your Orthodontic Treatment May Be a Mistake

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

No one wants to spend years in braces, but when you have noticeable crooked teeth or bite issues, you know it is something you have to endure in order to get that healthier, more beautiful smile you have always wanted. Luckily there are some accelerated options that can speed things up for you, but will rushing your orthodontic treatment end up being a mistake?

Accelerated Treatment

First here are the most common methods of accelerating the straightening of your teeth:

AcceleDent is a FDA-cleared medical device that you use in your home in addition to your braces and aligners to stimulate the bone remodeling needed to reposition your teeth. You use it just 20 minutes a day to start seeing results.

The key to the success of AcceleDent is its SoftPulse Technology which facilities the tooth movement process by applying consistent gentle pressure to the teeth via micropulses. This light force will cause the teeth move faster, accelerating the bone remodeling process.

By using it every day you can speed up your treatment by almost 50% and is very safe to use. You will be able to move up aligners or have your wires adjusted earlier than you would with without the extra help.

The pressure applied is less than that of a power toothbrush, but still very effective. AcceleDent also helps makes your bracers or aligners feel more comfortable to wear. AcceleDent is only available by prescription from your orthodontist.

There are other options as well. Propel Chairside Excellerator is done in the orthodontist’s office instead of at home like AcceleDent. It also accelerates bone metabolism so that your teeth can move into their new positions more easily, shaving some time off your treatment. Ask your orthodontist if this treatment can be done during your normal orthodontic appointments or if you have to schedule a separate appointment to get it done.

Your orthodontist can also perform minor oral surgery to shave the gums and bones to allow the teeth to shift more easily. The surgery requires only local anesthesia and involves repositioning the gums and bones which hold the teeth in place. While it is a minor surgery, it is still surgery so there is always a slight risk of complications, including pain, swelling, bleeding and infection.

While typically you can’t escape wearing braces totally, with the surgery you will only have to wear them for a shorter period of time. Of course, even minor surgery, is a big commitment so weigh all your options carefully. Teeth-straightening surgery works best for people with an overbite or underbite or jaw misalignment. If you only have a couple of crooked teeth surgery really isn’t necessary to get the results you are looking for.

Another option is the Six Month Smile. This orthodontic treatment involves clear adult braces that concentrate just on realigning the teeth that show when you smile. This means you won’t have to suffer through a mouth full of braces. They will only focus on select teeth. The aim is to improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile and not correct the bite.

Because Six Month Smiles uses a gentle force to move the teeth so they are very comfortable to wear and there is less of a risk for root damage and other damage to your teeth. You won’t have as much soreness as you do with regular braces.

Another plus is that the brackets are clear and the wires are tooth-colored so most people won’t even know you are wearing braces so you won’t feel embarrassed by your mouth during treatment.

Pros and Cons of Accelerated Treatment

If you have a big event like a wedding or vacation coming up that you’d like to have your braces off by, it can seem like a godsend but while accelerated treatments works for most spacing and bite issues, it doesn’t work for complicated conditions so it is important to have a frank conversation with your orthodontist about this. You don’t want to have to wear braces again later because you rushed through the initial treatment process. And when you go the surgery route, you are putting yourself at increased risk of infection.

Another con can be the cost. The cost of accelerating your orthodontic treatment is an additional fee to your braces or Invisalign aligners and it is not covered by most insurance companies. AcceleDent can run you around $800 to $900. If you have the extra money, it might be worth it, but what if you need additional treatment afterwards?

The biggest thing to worry about when it comes to Six Month Smile is that this treatment just focuses on the cosmetic appearance of your smile but doesn’t fix the underlying issue. If you have a major issue that is just glossed over in a rush, you are going to end up back in that orthodontic chair before you know it or suffer through a lot of dental issues.

To ensure you are making the best decision for your individual situation, sit down with your orthodontist and discuss all the pros and cons of all the different types of accelerated orthodontic treatments. It is a big investment so you will want to have all the facts before making a final decision.

Whatever you do, don’t try to move your teeth on your own because risk putting too much pressure on your teeth weakening them and moving them in the wrong directions. Ask your orthodontist also about more natural ways you can accelerate the treatment process. You will be surprised by how simply following all your orthodontist’s instructions and taking proper care of your teeth while wearing braces or aligners can really speed the process up.

Also, if your orthodontist suggests wearing a retainer once your braces are removed don’t ignore him. Retainers help keep your teeth in the new position so if you don’t wear them as often as you are told to, you risk undoing all the good work the braces did.

While time is money these days, something things like a healthy, beautiful smile is worth the wait. While accelerated treatments are not bad, they are not right for every person, every situation so make sure you do your research first. For more information about the pros and cons of accelerated orthodontic treatment, contact Orthodontics Limited today.

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One response to “Why Rushing Your Orthodontic Treatment May Be a Mistake”

  1. Hannah says:

    Is it possible for teeth to move too quickly to be healthy with at-home aligners? I’m supposed to be done with my aligner treatment plan and only started in October. A couple teeth are not straight so the company is asking me to go backwards six sets of aligners to see if my teeth were simply not on track in the aligners, and then proceed through all of the aligners again.
    In my mind, it can’t be healthy for my teeth to move so much so fast, especially since my front teeth were sticking out significantly and they are now where they should be (at least vertically). Any professional opinion would be helpful here since I would like to argue with the company that this is not a healthy option and that I should instead receive new impressions and aligner(s). Thank you!

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