At ALTA SMILES locations, they offer our patients the most advanced technology that provides the best long-term results. So, when technology comes to the market that claims to speed up orthodontic treatment time, we carefully evaluate the research before making a recommendation to our patients. In this article, we give you a high-level overview of studies that evaluate AcceleDent, an orthodontic device that reports faster tooth movement, and decreased discomfort. Let’s take a look at AcceleDent in detail to help you determine if it’s worth using during your orthodontic treatment.
What Is AcceleDent and How Does It Work?
AcceleDent is a portable device that can be used as an optional, supplemental therapy with your regular orthodontic treatment. Using a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and orthodontic appliance, its patented SoftPulse Technology® applies vibrations called micropulses. When the device is used for 20 minutes a day, the company says the vibrations are transmitted to the roots of your teeth and surrounding bone to help make your teeth move faster. AcceleDent says the device can “speed up orthodontic treatment and reduce discomfort by up to 71%.”
What Does the Research Say About AcceleDent?
AcceleDent has a page of clinical evidence, listing clinical studies and case reports to support its effectiveness and safety. However, reputable thought leaders in the orthodontics industry have found studies that state the opposite results of what the company claims. In addition, they have discredited the studies supporting the device, citing bias (the company has funded some of the studies), inadequate data, and gaps in the data.
For example, in this study, the researchers stated that adding low-frequency vibration with aligners decreased treatment time by 50%. The rationale is that teeth moved the same amount when changing the aligners every 7 days with vibration vs. in groups changing aligners every 14 days with and without vibration. However, Kevin O’Brien, an Emeritus Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Manchester in the UK, found this to be a misleading study for a number of reasons. Most notably, there was no control group changing aligners every 7 days without vibration.
In another study posted on AcceleDent’s website, the researchers concluded that “the effect of vibrations in the AcceleDent group was 48.1% above the baseline value, which demonstrates a significant clinical benefit.” However, Dr. O’Brien found that “this study is significantly flawed in both its execution and reporting. Importantly the conclusions are not really supported by the data.”
In addition, other peer-reviewed studies in the Journal of Dental Research and American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics found no evidence that supplemental vibrational force speeds up orthodontic treatment time. This study assessed aligners specifically, and also found it had “no significant effect on the reduction of orthodontic pain or oral health-related quality of life.”
Is AcceleDent Right for You?
At ALTA SMILES Orthodontic Centers, we provide you with as much information as possible so you can make the most informed decision when it comes to your treatment. While AcceleDent is not something currently offered at ALTA SMILES locations, we continue to evaluate the literature and technology as it becomes available. After all, if you’re going to pay more for a supplemental treatment, we want to make sure it’s worth the potential benefit! It is important to fully assess your goals and the research with your orthodontist to determine if AcceleDent and other treatment options are worth it for you.
One thing is for certain: Providers at ALTA SMILES do everything possible to give our patients the most effective and comfortable orthodontic experience possible. We invite you to have a hassle-free, no-obligation consultation today!