Perfect smile can be faster, easier without metal braces

May 15, 2013 5:34:58 AM PDT
Conventional braces can take anywhere from a year and a half to 4 years. Getting that perfect smile even when you're older has never been easier and faster - but are these quick fixes really worth it?

Braces are the latest accessory among the stars. The metal mouth stigma is melting away and so is the age barrier.

More adults than ever are straightening their teeth as they look for a more youthful, successful and healthier image.

And they want that perfect smile, fast.

A take home device is literally shaking the process up.

The Acceledent vibrates teeth into line. The gentle shaking loosens things up so there is less fight in the tooth movement.

Patients use the shield on their own for 20 minutes each day.

"Physiologically it tricks your teeth. So you get faster bone growth faster physiological turnover and ultimately what you see is faster tooth movement," said Neil Warshawsky, D.D.S., orthodontist at Get it Straight Orthodontics.

It's reported to cut the time you have to wear braces by 30 to 50 percent.

The price tag - anywhere from $500 to $1,000 dollars - depends on the practice, but cutting treatment time is said to make up the cost.

Forty-year-old Anthony Pricco has been using Acceledent since November.

He thinks the shaking will cut the time he's in these by four months.

"It's kinda soothing, it's like a mild vibration. It's just like wearing a mouth guard," said Pricco.

Warshawsky says ongoing research is making this process easier and easier, with less noticeable appliances such as tooth-colored braces and appliances that go behind the teeth.

And there are clear aligners that you can pop in and out such as InvisAlign.

As for speed, high-tech 3D imaging can help move teeth quicker, calculating the most direct and precise path.

But are comprehensive orthodontics as good as conventional?

Depends on who you ask.

Critics say super fast fixes are incomplete treatments that don't address real medical concerns, such as overcrowding and bite issues.

But for some people it's really just about the cosmetic look.

Just ask 27-year-old Judy Asuzu.

"My bite is fine, but it's kinda the spacing that needs to be addressed," Asuzu said.

Asuzu is doing 6 Month Smiles.

6 Month Smiles claims it's comfortable, quick, barely noticeable and less expensive.

It can cost anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 dollars.

Mount Prospect dentist Meena Goel says it works using gentle but efficient forces.

"This is an excellent option for most patients just looking to have a more beautiful smile. It corrects gaps and crowding and rotation. It's amazing," said Goel.

There has always been the concern that moving teeth too fast can cause bone erosion.

Several orthodontists we talked to say there is research showing quicker movement can be done safely if the force is efficient, not harsh.

AcceleDent
www.acceledent.com

Neil Warshawsky, DDS
Get it Straight
www.getitstraight.com
773-404-2288

6 Month Smiles
www.6monthsmiles.com

Meena Goel, DDS
Avid Dental
www.avid-dental.com
847-439-6332


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