I’m sure one of the most pressing questions adult patients have at the start of orthodontic treatment is ‘how long will my treatment take?’ This may very well be a deciding factor in assessing whether to undertake full orthodontic treatment or a short term orthodontic solution such as ‘6 month smiles’ aimed at just treating the front teeth? In this post, I will be looking at the topic of achieving faster orthodontic treatment and exploring some debate that is taking place within the dental community about devices and solutions marketed as helping patients to complete their orthodontic treatment faster.
For many adult patients, the day when their braces are removed cannot come soon enough so any opportunity to bring this date closer must be welcome. Some brackets are marketed as achieving faster results due to their unique design and others employ clever closure systems holding the wire in place without the need for elastics that may add additional friction preventing the tooth from sliding along the wire freely. There are also some devices available which have a mouthpiece that vibrates stimulating tooth movement or emit light to promote faster results.
From what I have read, there is a great deal of debate about the effectiveness of these systems and devices with a number of conflicting studies published making claims to either support or disprove the manufacturers claims that their use can result in faster orthodontic treatment.
I have included some links below to some of the devices and also the ongoing debate about whether they are effective as I must admit to being confused as to whether treatment would be completed any faster with their use. Would purchasing a device or choosing a specific bracket design offer me any guarantee of faster treatment and would it be worth the risk or cost? This is something that is not clear and until some firm evidence is published, would always be cautious about accepting claims from manufacturers.
I’m also making the assumption that faster orthodontic treatment is something we are all wish for. In my case, well, not really. I was quite prepared for it to take as long as it would take and really valued my orthodontist taking the time to not only give me the results I was looking for but also minimising some of the risks associated with moving teeth too quickly. There is the added benefit that the monthly cost of longer treatment means you can get expert orthodontic treatment for less than the price of a coffee a day!
Whatever you decide, it’s worth talking through the options with your orthodontist and looking at the research available before making a decision. You may very well get faster treatment but on the other hand, you may see no benefit at all.