The biggest objection most people have to orthodontic treatment is that it takes so long. In the past, orthodontic treatment required a year or two to complete, sometimes even more. That’s why we have many options for increasing the speed of orthodontic treatment.
It’s also why people are continually looking for alternatives to give people more options for achieving faster orthodontic results safely. New research has shown that low-level laser therapy (LLLT) may be another approach we might use.
What Is Low-Level Laser Therapy?
Most lasers used in medicine are high-powered lasers that can burn or cut tissue. They are used, for example, in gum disease treatment to eliminate infected gum tissue so that the gums and teeth can heal.
But in LLLT, the lasers used are incapable of damaging tissue. Instead, their effects are said to come from their ability to stimulate the proper function of cells. They have been proposed for use in many applications, from skincare to pain relief. They are sometimes recommended in many types of wound healing. In fact, they’ve been proposed for use in alleviating pain from TMJ and even discomfort associated with orthodontic treatment.
How Low-Level Laser Therapy Might Accelerate Orthodontics
The basic principle of LLLT is that it stimulates proper function of the body’s natural pathways. Orthodontic treatment is limited by the body’s ability to quickly rework the structure of bones around teeth. If LLLT could stimulate this effect, then it could, potentially, help speed orthodontic treatment.
That’s what a newly published study in Angle Orthodontics seems to show. In the study, 26 orthodontic patients were divided into two groups: half received orthodontic treatment with no additional care, while half received orthodontic treatment with LLLT. Researchers checked progress at one month, two months, and the end of treatment.
People who received LLLT in support of their orthodontic treatment achieved results significantly faster. Their mean total treatment time was only 81 days, compared to 109 days for people who didn’t get LLLT. That’s a reduction of 25% in the treatment time!
Although these results are good, we have to remember to be cautious. This is a very small study, with short follow-up times. In the past, studies haven’t really been able to confirm the effectiveness of LLLT for speeding orthodontic treatment. Until we get more confirmation, we have to consider the effectiveness a possibility, not a certainty.
AcceleDent Already Cuts Treatment Time in Half
Of course, we are also happy to remind patients that we already have the ability to reduce the treatment time for orthodontics by half using AcceleDent. AcceleDent uses vibrations to stimulate the movement of teeth and the generation bone. It has been extensively tested on hundreds, even thousands of patients. Not only does it make orthodontic treatment faster, it also reduces discomfort.
If you would like to learn more about getting faster orthodontic treatment in Orange County, please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.