There are myriad reasons why people choose not to straighten their teeth, including financial considerations, fear of painful treatments and their age.
However, with all the new advances in orthodontic technology – impression-free scanning, invisible braces and self-ligating braces – there are now more options for teens and adults alike.
Align Technology – the maker of Invisalign – changed the teen and adult orthodontic market in 1999 with the launching of its aligner-therapy product.
After taking an impression with a 3-D scanner, aligners are used in a sequence to slowly move teeth. The average treatment time is 18 months; the patient changes aligners every two weeks. Even with today’s technology, orthodontists can only move teeth at a slow rate. Increasing this rate of movement often results in aligners that don’t fit and teeth that don’t move.
Yet up until a few years ago, there were limited options to make our orthodontic cases finish in an acceptable time frame. Options accelerated in clinical research were limited to Wilckodontics, Piczoincisions and AcceleDent. Treating patients with these options in my offices resulted in measurable clinical success. However, the expensive – and sometimes invasive – procedures often result in many patients choosing not to seek out accelerated orthodontics.
There is a new method, however, that seems to be changing the accelerated orthodontics market, allowing treatments to be completed in just months instead of years. Propel Orthodontics is an advanced technique performed with the innovative micro-perforatation device that fast tracks a patient’s orthodontic treatment. Registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this medical device creates a series of micro-osteoperforations that harness the patient’s biology to stimulate the bone surrounding the teeth. This helps the teeth to move faster, thereby reducing overall treatment time. The method also enables teeth to move easily into the ideal position in less time and requires fewer visits.
Propel can be used in conjunction with either braces or clear aligners and can be performed in minutes. Because of Propel’s micro-invasive manner, patients can return to their daily schedule of activities with no needed recovery time. Propel can be used from the start of treatment to accelerate a patient’s overall orthodontics or added during the course of treatment to facilitate any challenging movements.
Dr. David R. Boschken is a Los Altos Hills resident and orthodontist with offices in Los Altos and San Jose. He has served in Align Technology’s Speakers Bureau for 14 years, lecturing to orthodontists and general dentists around the world. He is a member of the Propel Orthodontics Clinical Advisory Board. For more information, call 948-3994.