What if there was a way to straighten teeth faster than with traditional braces?
Using a new device designed to speed up orthodontic treatment, that may be a reality for kids all over Alaska.
Sonyah Martinez has been wearing her braces for just three months, but according to her orthodontist, Keith Coombs, it looks like she’s been wearing them for six months.
A new product called Acceledent literally shakes things up, vibrating teeth into line. Specialists say there are no side effects.
"There is not an adverse reaction or anything like that," said Paul Raines, treatment coordinator at Coombs Orthodontics in Anchorage. "It's very minimally invasive, so if you can handle a sports mouth guard, you can handle wearing the Acceledent."
It deliver a subtle, pulsing vibration which ultimately makes the effects of orthodontic treatment more permanent by stimulating bone remodeling.
"What it essentially does is where you've got the soft vibrations, it takes the tooth and kind of massages it and helps stimulate the blood flow there and it helps stimulate that bone remodeling process," said Raines.
Orthodontists say that using this product just 20 minutes a day can speed up the process of using orthodontic treatments like braces or invisalign.
The average time spent in braces is about 2 years; Coombs claims using Acceledent has allowed Martinez's teeth to move almost 50 percent faster than just using standard braces.
"At the rate we’re going, we should finish in under a year where initially we thought she would go two full years in treatment," said Coombs about Martinez’s progress.
That's good for a lot of reasons."By getting them [braces] off sooner there’s less of a chance of getting cavities and the decalcification that we sometimes see during orthodontic treatment," said Coombs.
And when it comes to the pain after tightening braces, users like Martinez claim it alleviates soreness.
"It’s my best friend on adjustment days, I wear it a lot because it takes the pain away a lot quicker when I don’t use it," said Martinez.
Acceledent is FDA approved and can cost between $500 and $1,000.