Faster braces

February 7, 2013 7:19:47 AM PST
If your dentist wants to move your teeth, it's a pain to wear braces for a couple years. Now, there's a way to cut that time in half.

More and more adults are finally doing something about uneven teeth, and this method offers them less time with metal in their mouths.

Carmen Cruz, 34 wanted braces.

"Now that I have the opportunity to do it, I'm not comfortable with my smile, and I want to fix it," Cruz said.

Wearing dark glasses to keep the glare from her eyes, she's having a procedure that will cut down the time she has to wear braces by 50-60%. It uses a device to drill several tiny holes in the bone under the gums.

"I think this is the future of orthodontics. The challenge of orthodontics is to move the teeth safer and faster, and this technique addresses all of these issues," Cristina Teixeira, DMD, PhD/NYU College of Dentistry, said.

After numbing the gum tissue, dentists punch a tiny hole in the bone underneath in several places.

"It creates minor injury to the bone through the gum and the bone becomes less dense allowing the teeth to move faster," Teixeira said.

The gum and bone heal quickly and normal bone density returns when braces come off. Patients may have mild discomfort afterward, but Dr. Teixeira says there are no side effects or downsides. Patients like 18 year old Yamata Bernard can wear whatever type of braces they want. Her teeth were crooked growing up, and she's now a senior in high school.

"i really don't want to wear braces in college, so the sooner i can get them off, the better," Bernard said.

Her younger sister is going through the method right now. The idea of sticking something through her gums?

"I don't like the procedure, but I like that it makes the teeth move faster," Hri Bernard, 14, said.

Dentists treat like this every few months. Each session takes five to ten minutes. Carmen's take on this?

"I have a daughter, she's going to be next, so I'm very excited," she said.

The procedure can be done on anyone of any age along with their braces. There is no extra charge for this procedure when it's done in conjunction with braces at NYU, but private dentists may charge for it when it's added to standard braces.

For more information please call:
NYU School of Dentistry

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