As you might suspect, the most common question we hear during orthodontic treatment in Seattle is some version of, “When am I done with my treatment?” Our patients rarely beg to extend their treatment time (but bless those who do!). For years, the orthodontic profession has searched for methods to reduce overall treatment time. Unfortunately, our greatest limiting factor is the very thing that allows us to move the teeth – our bone biology.
ONLY THE BEST ORTHODONTIC SOLUTIONS
As health care providers and orthodontists in Seattle, we’re confronted with new products and new technology all the time. And trust me, not everything is the panacea it’s advertised to be. Part of our job is to filter through all the noise and find methods and products that are best for our patients, and accordingly, best for our practice. Paola, Greg and I consistently evaluate orthodontic studies to find new products, methods, and technology that fit into our practice; all in an effort to deliver more predictable, personalized care. During the vetting process, one of the major questions we ask ourselves is, “Would I use this on myself or my child?” This can be a very important question because if we can’t answer “yes”, it’s not something we want to offer our patients – it’s not something we want to offer our family.
ACCELERATE TOOTH MOVEMENT
This is why we chose to integrate AcceleDent into our practice. It works along with conventional orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign or braces, to accelerate the biology of tooth movement. The scope of its clinical application is broad – anyone interested in decreasing their treatment time. The research results have been encouraging, and AcceleDent is less invasive than the alternative options (i.e. Propel, PAOO, etc.) to accelerate tooth movement. For three years now, patients in our practice have used AcceleDent in conjunction with their orthodontic treatment with great success; and to this day, I still haven’t heard any patient regret purchasing the AcceleDent. In fact, most patients say they would recommend it to others.
Our application for Propel is slightly different. Propel is a micro-invasive procedure performed on the supporting bone of the teeth to stimulate the bone metabolism. At this time, our application for Propel has been to accelerate tooth movements that we know are predictably more challenging. This also allows us to selectively activate certain teeth, which helps us customize the biomechanics of treatment as some teeth move faster than others. We’ve had great success in these cases, as we continue to make challenging tooth movements more predictable.
Currently, another new technology has recently been approved to accelerate tooth movement. The device is called OrthoPulse, and the process is photobiomodulation – I promise it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. Similar to the AcceleDent, it’s a non-invasive method that uses near-infrared light to accelerate the cellular response that makes moving teeth possible. We are currently in the process of evaluating the OrthoPulse studies and considering when, and if, we should offer this type of accelerated treatment to our patients. Early studies are promising. The results suggest that treatment time may be reduced even more significantly than with AcceleDent and Propel.
With so many questions about treatment time, we want to provide our patients with answers. Orthodontics will never be about instant gratification, it’s just not possible. Our biology doesn’t operate like Amazon Prime. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean we won’t strive to make the orthodontic process better. We want patients who are motivated to finish orthodontic treatment in Seattle earlier to be able to do so, that’s why we offer products like AcceleDent, Propel (and most likely OrthoPulse) in our practice. It’s our obligation to make our patients’ experience the best it possibly can be – because this is our responsibility to our orthodontic family.
We look forward to seeing more beautiful faces and smiles,
Dr. Blake Davis