Faster Tooth Movement: How it’s Done

Everyone wants their smile to be fixed and ready in the shortest time possible. Invisalign is a technique that allows one to go ahead with their orthodontic treatment in an almost incognito mode. Now, a common query we often get from patients is whether it is possible to speed up the Invisalign treatment to get faster results, thereby reducing the total treatment duration.

With the advances in technology, this has been made possible. Primarily, there are two methods of accelerating tooth movement – Propel and AcceleDent. They are both used effectively to get results and have reportedly been able to achieve 40 to 50 per cent reduction in the overall treatment duration.

Propel is a technique wherein small holes( called micro-osteoperforations or MOPS) are drilled/made in the tooth’s cortical bone to purposely cause an inflammatory reaction, which would increase bone remodelling resulting in an increase in the rate of tooth movement. This inflammatory reaction is a biological reaction that causes no harm. We are basically leveraging the body’s biological response to trauma to help us attain our goal of healthy and fast tooth movement. The procedure is painless and can be done under local anaesthesia. Some patients feel some mild discomfort for two days and that’s about it. The MOPS are carried out every 6 to 12 weeks as needed. Propel can be used from the beginning or added later on, along the course of the treatment to bring about increase in the rate of tooth movement.

AcceleDent is a vibration-based method that uses SoftPulse technology to hasten tooth movement by increasing the blood flow around the teeth. It is a hands-free and simple-to-use technology that is dependent on patient compliance. One needs to use it once a day for 20 minutes at a stretch. Not only does AcceleDent increase the tooth movement, it is also known to reduce the discomfort generally associated with orthodontic treatment. The only disadvantage is you have to be compliant as your orthodontist has no role to play other than in your regular orthodontic treatment. Plus, one has to clean and sanitise the device after each use. This must be done carefully as the device is not water resistant and too expensive to replace or buy again. The device is battery operated and needs to be charged once in three days or as needed.

Usually, the patient has to wear Invisalign trays for 10 to 14 days before changing. With the incorporation of these adjuncts, the patient can change the trays once in every seven to eight days. The Propel technique does not need any compliance or extra effort on the patient’s part, as all the work is done in the dental chair by the treating orthodontist. The success of AcceleDent depends on the patient’s ability to follow instructions and be compliant. Both methods are acceptable depending on patient comfort and achieve more or less the same results.

The aim of accelerated orthodontics is to reduce treatment duration by moving the teeth into alignment faster, in a safe and healthy manner. Not only is the treatment completed early, the side effects are less. Some clinicians have also reported lesser incidence of common orthodontic treatment consequences like root resorption/blunting, white lesions and decalcification. This can be attributed to the shorter duration of overall treatment.

Therefore, it is best to discuss the options with your orthodontist before deciding on the most suitable method. Choose an orthodontist who is well versed in these techniques. Remember, all tools are great but they are effective only in the hands of the right professionals. So, choose your orthodontic care provider wisely after doing your due diligence. – Dmitry Lopata

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