One of the most common concerns that many people have about orthodontic treatment is the timeframe. Whether you are an adult or an adolescent, you want to spend as little time in braces as possible — while still enjoying the benefits of straighter teeth and better jaw alignment. Accelerated orthodontics is a newer approach to orthodontic treatment that promises to do just that.
If you have questions about accelerated orthodontics, including how it works and whether it may be right for you, we’re here to help with the following overview. AC Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics wants to help you understand this exciting new approach so you can make an informed decision and be more engaged with your orthodontic care.
Accelerated Orthodontics Explained
Just like the name says, accelerated orthodontics aims to reduce the amount of time it takes to correct common issues like jaw misalignment or crooked teeth.
Basically, accelerated orthodontics is an innovative approach that encourages bone growth in the jaw. When this is combined with standard orthodontic practices, such as braces, it can mean reduced treatment times and the potential for less discomfort.
It’s important to understand that accelerated orthodontics is not a replacement for braces, but treatment that is used in connection with it. Accelerated orthodontic practices can be used with widely available types of orthodontic hardware, including metal or ceramic braces, and Invisalign. There are several unique approaches to accelerated orthodontics, but most involve using some kind of stimulation to encourage new bone growth in the jaw.
How It Works: What to Expect from Accelerated Orthodontics
The underlying principle of accelerated orthodontics is the idea that bone growth can be encouraged and even sped up by directing a small amount of trauma or stimulation to an area. This is essentially how the healing process works. When we break or damage our bones, it naturally stimulates new bone growth to fix the fracture or break.
According to research, orthodontists have discovered that using a much gentler version of this process before putting on braces can help move teeth and fix jaw misalignment on a quicker timescale. Specific techniques for accelerated orthodontics vary by practitioner, but can include a procedure where the gums and jawbone receive several small and careful perforations. Another approach involves micropulses that help to stimulate the gums.
Benefits of accelerated orthodontic treatment can include:
- Less time in braces: Instead of the normal 18-24 months, accelerated orthodontics can reduce the window for treatment substantially
- Can be used with any type of hardware: Whether you choose traditional braces or Invisalign, you or your child can still see results
- Potential for less discomfort: If the body is helping move the teeth and adjust bite, it can mean the braces don’t need to pull as hard
If you are interested in this process and potential benefits, ask your orthodontic provider about accelerated orthodontics and if you may be a candidate.
Becoming a Candidate for Accelerated Orthodontics
A good candidate for accelerated orthodontics should have strong and generally healthy bones and all of their permanent teeth. An orthodontist can then perform the following steps to determine if accelerated orthodontics may be the right course of action:
- A full dental examination to assess the health of your teeth
- An orthodontic evaluation to determine level of crowding and jaw misalignment
- Examination of your face and inside of your mouth
- Taking X-rays and other diagnostic testing
- A discussion about your treatment goals and ideal timeline for orthodontic treatment
In addition to adolescent patients, adults can be good candidates for accelerated orthodontics because of the more permanent and rigid bone structure compared to teenage patients. This means that traditional braces can be more uncomfortable and take longer to make the necessary corrections, while accelerated orthodontics can make this process quicker.
Considerations for accelerated orthodontics include the need for additional appointments to make adjustments and the need for self pay as most dental insurance providers do not typically cover this form of treatment.
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Going to the dentist or orthodontist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online to learn more about our full range of dental and orthodontic treatment options. We can’t wait to meet you!