Straight teeth are important for the appearance and attractiveness of your smile. Everyone would love to get their teeth straightened, if it were instant. But since traditional braces treatment can take a year or more, people are often reluctant to get started.
The good news is that recent technology allows us to give you faster results from your orthodontics, though there are some limits to how fast your braces can go.
The Limiting Factor in Braces Speed
Many people don’t appreciate what’s really going on during braces treatment–and why it can take so long. Braces aren’t just moving your teeth, they’re causing the bones around your teeth to be reshaped. Bone is being removed from one side of the tooth and built up on the other side. Many tissues can be quickly resculpted, but bone isn’t one of them. Bone growth is slow, and bone removal can be even slower.
To a certain extent, we’re limited by the speed at which your body can perform this bone remodeling. Trying to remodel bone too fast can lead to poor results, loose teeth, and other possible problems.
So how do we manage to get faster orthodontic results? There are a few different approaches.
Strategy 1: Pick Your Battles
Not all teeth in your mouth are equally hard to move. The smaller teeth in the front of your mouth don’t require as much bone remodeling and can be moved faster. Since most of us don’t have serious bite problems (such as TMJ), most of us don’t need to move all the teeth in our mouth, just the most important ones for cosmetic purposes.
Strategy 2: More Complex Movements
Another way to speed up orthodontic results is to remove some of the limitations associated with traditional orthodontic approaches. In the past, orthodontics used limited forces to move the teeth. This often meant teeth had to be moved one way, then another way. This succession of movements can often be consolidated into a shorter sequence–if you have a way to deliver more complex forces.
One technique that uses more complex forces is the Inman Aligner, which applies force to teeth from both the front and behind to speed up treatment. The Inman Aligner can give results in just 10 weeks!
Strategy 3: Don’t Move the Teeth at All
Of course, we might decide instead to bypass the slow part of the process and just not move your teeth at all. Instead, we might reshape the crowns of your teeth using porcelain veneers and dental crowns so that the visible part of your teeth is straight, although the roots stay in their former places.
Not Always Appropriate
All these approaches to speeding up braces can work, but not for everyone. During your consultation we will talk to you about your restrictions and come up with an orthodontics solution that gets you quality results fast without putting your teeth at risk.