1. Self-Ligation Braces
There are many, many different types of braces. Basically, braces are divided into two major categories: Traditional ligation and self-ligation. This basically describes the way the wire is attached to the brace. For traditional braces, the wire and the brace are attached by a ‘ligature’, usually a colored rubber band. This is stylish, but the rubber color works like a parking brake dramatically slowing tooth movement and requiring up to 500 times more force (ouch!) to move the teeth. Self-ligating braces have a little door built into the brace that holds the brace and the wire together. Don’tworry fashion conscious people, you can still decorate w/ colors. But, you don’t have the ‘parking brake’ effect on the teeth. This allows much lower forces necessary to move the teeth (yay!) which is much more comfortable and creates much less local inflammation. This leads to healthier and faster tooth movement. The major self-ligating braces are: Damon System, Damon Clear, Insignia, Smart Clip, Innovation and a few other lesser used systems.
Using very sophisticated robotic and CAD/CAM technologies, it is now possible to customize your braces just for you. There are two major players in customized braces:
1. Sure Smile: Sure Smile is a robotically bent wire. Basically, the teeth are aligned initially with braces. However, since the braces are ‘one size fits all braces’, there are many teeth that usually need adjusting. Normally, the orthodontist will bend wires to accomplish this. With Sure Smile, a robot makes the necessary wire customization, typically in several less visits than a human can do. This leads to faster treatment.
2. Insignia: Insignia is a composed of customized braces AND wires. Before treatment, the patients teeth are scanned into a computer using a digital scanner (no more yucky molds/impressions!!). Then, the teeth are digitally aligned by the orthodontist. Once the teeth are in the ideal position,the computer software engineers the perfect brace for each tooth based on the math necessary to move the tooth from crooked to straight. The customized braces are then applied to the teeth. By customizing the braces BEFORE they are put on, many of the adjustments necessary during treatment are eliminated resulting in faster and more precise treatment. Insignia braces are also ‘self-ligating’ which makes them work faster as well. This is the system I choose to use for my patients as I feel it is the best available treatment today.
Acceledent is a relatively new technology to orthodontics but has been used in other areas of healthcare for many years. It is a vibrating mouthpiece that is worn 20 minutes per day (add photo here). Using a technology stolen from orthopedic surgeons to help bone heal faster, the vibrations front he mouthpiece ‘turn on’ the bone cells that help move teeth. Studies have shown teeth move 30-40% faster with Acceledent! The other good news is that the vibrations also reduce the pain associated with tooth movement by as much as 75%. Faster treatment with less soreness. Pretty awesome! The catch: because it is new it is still relatively expensive. Acceledent typically runs around $1000. But, depending on your budget and your time table, Acceledent may be very appealing to you. Many times, orthodontic treatment with Acceledent can be completed in under one year 🙂
Corticotomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that is used in conjunction with braces. After numbing the area, small grooves are made between the tooth roots. This sounds strange, but it is very effective and virtually painless with little to no down time for recovery. These grooves make the bone in the area think it has been injured and sends ‘healing’ cells to the area that dramatically increase the speed of tooth movement. Coricotomy has been around for many years and is a safe procedure. The two major corticotomy procedures are ‘Wilcodontics’ and ‘Piezocision’. When combined with Insignia customized braces, the procedure is called Brasik (TM). Brasik is the fastest orthodontic procedure available today, with many treatments finishing in 6 months or less! Since it involves the gum procedure (usually done by a periodontist) and braces (done by an orthodontist), this procedure typically is the most expensive. But, if you want straight teeth and you want them ASAP, Brasik is the fastest option available. For more information on Brasik, visit www.Brasik.com
5. Be Compliant
During treatment, your orthodontist will often ask you to wear rubber bands, come to your visits on time, brush your teeth well, be careful with what you eat to prevent damage to the braces, etc. The more compliant you are with these directions, the faster you treatment will go. If you want your treatment to go super fast, listen to your doctors instructions and follow them religiously!
6. See an Orthodontist
In today’s economy, many family dentists are looking to expand the services they offer to help their bottom line. Often times, a weekend class is the only requirement to start offering orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists are specialty trained dentists that have several years of specific, additional orthodontic training and then devote their careers to orthodontics.only Many products used by general dentists claim to offer faster treatment and have speedy sounding names like ‘Six Month Braces’ ‘Fast Smiles’ or ‘Quick Braces’. These systems will make some teeth more straight but will rarely leave you with a good bite. Most people with bites that are off have increased risk of painful tooth and jaw problems in the future. Moving your teeth as quickly and safely as possible is tricky business. You need to rely on an Orthodontic specialist to have the knowledge to not only provide a fast result, but also deliver a quality result that will last a lifetime.