“When will my braces come off?” This classic question may soon get an answer of “Sooner than you think!” thanks to a new orthodontic device called AcceleDent. Currently undergoing clinical testing by 34 San Antonio-area patients, this small device fits in the mouth over the braces and gives off gentle microvibrations that speed up tooth movement. Patients use it just 20 minutes a day; you close your mouth over part of it that looks something like a sports mouthguard, and the small, lightweight powering unit hangs outside your lips. You can walk, sit, watch TV and pretty much get other things done while you use it. They say it will work for Invisalign wearers, too – whichever orthodontic approach is moving teeth, this accelerates the process.
The principle of using vibrations as a bone treatment has been around for years, with successful applications in treating osteoporosis and stimulating the healing of bone fractures. The company that has created this device, OrthoAccel Technologies of Houston, TX, has progressed to the stage of clinical trials in the US and has several orthodontic users in the UK. The product is awaiting FDA approval, but the company is working toward a product launch in October of 2010.
You’ll see the device on the company’s home page – it looks a little funny, but hey, you do it at home and if it takes four to six months off your treatment time, you’ll do it, right? And there’s no pain, so it’s better than headgear…. By the way, it has a built-in microprocessor that even tracks the time in use.
If anyone out there is involved in the clinical testing, I’d be very interested in hearing about your experiences.