One of the biggest concerns for individuals considering braces for adults is how long the treatment process will last. This fear may be coming to an end, thanks to a group of scientists.
A team of researchers at New York University's College of Dentistry has been working on a procedure that would decrease the amount of time that patients would be required to wear braces, reports the Washington Square News, NYU's official newspaper.
Known as micro-osteoperforation, the process involves an orthodontist poking small holes into a patient's gums using a plastic drill called a Propel. This controlled disturbance allows more bone tissue to form and aids braces in moving teeth faster.
"It is based on biology of bone," said Dr. Cristina Teixeira, NYU College of Dentistry's department chair of orthodontics, to the source. "It shows that minor injuries to the bone can facilitate bone turnover and can facilitate swift movement."
Dr. Teixeira and her colleagues began their research several years ago with an animal study that suggested that irritating the gums would increase tooth movement. They have now completed a two-year clinical trial with human subjects. The results were published in an article in the November issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.
The report indicated that micro-osteoperforation worked successfully for several patients but did note some of the procedure's risks. If not carefully performed, the drilling can damage tooth and gum structure.
While it's unclear if or when micro-osteoperforation will be available to all orthodontic patients, there are clear braces and Invisalign-type appliances that suit the needs of many individuals. If you're interested in leaning more, the experienced staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists would be happy to speak with you.