TOWNSVILLE ORTHODONTIC SPECIALISTS
Sifting through the hype, respecting the facts and knowing what is truly important.
The modern world seems to have little patience and short attention spans. Technology has us expecting instant results at the click of a mouse or mere tap of a screen.
The hype vs the facts
Supply companies keep telling us that their ‘new and revolutionary’ products can speed up orthodontic treatment.
Various lasers, tooth vibrational devices and low-friction braces claim to slash treatment time.
Those who are up-to-date with the respected research, both past and present, know that these methods have little or no benefit for the patient, but ironically will usually cost patients more money and time!
The speed of tooth movement is dependent on:
• the patient’s growth status
• the individual’s biology
• the efficiency of the treatment method
Orthodontic tooth movement occurs through a controlled inflammatory process around the roots of teeth.
Certain medications and conditions can decrease or increase the rate of tooth movement by changing the patient’s biological response.
Some pain-relief medications and osteoporosis drugs can change the bone biology and unfortunately reduce the rate of tooth movement.
In contrast, recent studies have shown that pregnancy hormones and obesity can increase the rate of tooth movement.
A surgical technique involving perforation of the bone, using large gauge needles or burs around the tooth roots was developed in the 1950s.
While studies have shown that it does work, it must be repeated regularly to be effective. This is rather invasive and traumatic for the patient. As a result, it has not taken off in mainstream orthodontics. Just because something can be done does not necessarily make it worth it!
The importance of expertise
Orthodontists understand that it is only natural to wish for beautiful straight teeth immediately, with minimal intervention. However, anything worth doing is worth doing well.
A correct diagnosis of the orthodontic problem and developing the right treatment plan are the first vital steps.
In reality, teeth only respond to the biological forces placed upon them – they will never respect the brand names and hype! It is the quality and experience of the practitioner controlling the orthodontic appliance that ultimately determines its performance.
It is an Orthodontist’s responsibility to provide options that may deliver shorter treatment times, while disclosing how such options can have a negative effect on the patient’s outcome.
Shorter treatment times can often mean ‘cutting corners’.
During their full-time university specialist training, Orthodontists are required to design and conduct a research study, along with critiquing the scientific literature. This research training provides an ability to clearly distinguish between marketing hype and clinical reality. This expertise is what patients depend upon to deliver efficiency and quality in treatment.
Protecting your investment
Whether investing in your dream home or considering medical treatment for your family, it pays to be cautious when presented with ‘quick-fix’ solutions.
A healthy dose of skepticism never goes astray. Use your instincts and the guidance of properly trained professionals to achieve the best outcomes in the shortest period of time.
The famous Greek philosopher Plato once said: “Quackery has no friend like gullibility”. Your best protection against unnecessary and/or unproven treatments is your brain.