PacificWest Orthodontist, Braces & Invisalign Vancouver

Accelerated Orthodontics: How the PROPEL System Can Shorten Your Orthodontic Treatment Time

If you have ever been told that you need to have orthodontic treatment involving Invisalign or braces, your first question is likely going to be, “For how long?”. 

Many adults who could not have orthodontic treatment in their youth are now pursuing that perfect smile. The amount of time it takes to rearrange those tooth positions and the discomfort that orthodontic treatment can generate can put off many patients, as it is highly inconvenient to wear braces in a workplace.

But if there were a way to reduce your total treatment time, many people would be more likely to take the plunge and do right by their smile. Not only will properly aligned teeth look good, but they are healthier and will function better. PacificWest provides accelerated orthodontics in its Vancouver and Surrey clinics.

Table of Content

What is Accelerated Orthodontics and Why is it Useful?

There are a few proven ways to speed up your treatment. Known as accelerated orthodontics, they can markedly reduce the total treatment time by increasing the mobility of your teeth. Obviously, spending less time with wires, brackets, and elastics is a welcomed change for many patients.

How Does It Work: Before we get into the details of accelerating your orthodontic treatment, we should quickly recap how teeth move. Through the wearing of orthodontic appliances, whether it is braces or Invisalign, forces are transmitted to the teeth. Through a series of interactions with different cells, the bones around the teeth soften up and allow the teeth to move into a new position. This is the rate-limiting step in how quickly teeth can move. So any process that can induce the turnover of the dental alveolar bone will increase the speed of tooth movement.

PROPEL has two ways of accelerating your orthodontics that can speed up teeth movement in different ways:

  • PROPEL Excellerator Micro Osteoperforation; and 
  • PROPEL VPro5. 

Some patients may use one, and some may use both in combination. Your orthodontist will make a recommendation after inspecting your teeth.

PROPEL Excellerator Micro Osteoperforation

PROPEL Excellerator involves drilling tiny holes into the gum tissue and bone to accelerate the movement of surrounding teeth by increasing the turnover of the bone to the region. This treatment needs to be done just one time for most people and occasionally a second time for some who require more significant tooth movement. 

The treatment involves the following steps:

  • Complete set of orthodontic records, including photos of the teeth and face, x-rays, and digital scan
  • Using the record, your orthodontist complete a thorough analysis of the present condition and come up with a detailed treatment plan, including all the necessary tooth movements to achieve the desired outcome
  • Based on the treatment plan, the orthodontist decides where the micro-perforations into the bone will be placed;
  • Local anesthetic is used to ensure that the procedure is completely pain-free and that the patient is comfortable; and
  • Using PROPEL, the predetermined amount of tiny holes will be created on either side of the tooth into the bone under the gum line as deemed necessary for successful, speedy orthodontics and faster healing.

Much like how broken bones need to heal, creating one to three tiny holes in these areas will allow greater tooth movement through faster bone remodeling and regrowth. The end result is an orthodontic experience that could be significantly faster than using braces or Invisalign alone.

How Does It Work: Microperforation kick-starts the bone turnover process necessary for tooth movement. This method was created after it was observed that teeth will move much faster into areas where there was trauma to the bone recently (e.g. into the site of recent teeth extractions). The procedure is very safe and highly effective. Surface numbing is performed onto the area to minimize any pain. Usually, only one or two small holes are needed at each area between teeth. The effect lasts for about 3 months, and can be repeated as required.

PROPEL VPro5

PROPEL VPro5 is a small, hands-free device you can put in your mouth for just 5 minutes each day at home. The device generates subtle vibrations at a specific frequency that had been shown to accelerate and stimulate tooth movement. It should be used daily with your orthodontic treatment from start to finish and with the retainer as well.

How Does It Work: The vibrator is mostly used in conjunction with clear aligners (Invisalign). It speeds up the treatment in two ways:

  • It helps the aligner seat and adapts more closely to the teeth, which results in more effective and accurate movements.
  • It vibrates at a very specific frequency which has been shown to improve blood flow to the bones surrounding the teeth. This helps speed up the bone turnover and speed up the tooth movement.

As an additional benefit, the VPro5 also provides relief from orthodontic pain and allows better repair of your tooth’s bone structure during the process.

Is PROPEL Safe?

PROPEL is absolutely safe. Not only is it effective and efficient, but it is also a prescribed treatment that has undergone safety reviews and trials. Both devices will help you achieve your perfect smile goals faster than you thought possible.

What are the PROPEL Treatment Aftercare Procedures?

The PROPEL Excellerator is minimally invasive. This in-office treatment needs no real recovery time. You can go straight back to your day minutes after this treatment.

Once the local anesthetic wears off, you may experience a little sensitivity due to inflammation. But because this is what the treatment aims to create, you should not take any anti-inflammatory medication afterwards. This will defeat the purpose of the treatment.

These tips will keep you in top shape post-treatment and allow the process to get going and accelerate your treatment:

  • Do not take any anti-inflammatory medication post-treatment;
  • Avoid acidic or spicy foods as your gums will be sensitive, and you may feel increased sensation along the gum line and where the micro-perforations have been placed; and
  • Use 3% hydrogen peroxide (take extra care not to swallow!) as a mouthwash and swish to keep your mouth clear of harmful bacteria and the micro-perforations clean and disinfected; follow with a traditional mouthwash to get rid of the taste.

Follow these steps for safe gargling:

  1. Start with a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide. This is the strength you’ll find in a brown bottle at most drug stores. Next, combine one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water. Your final mix will have a concentration of 1% hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Tilt your head back and take a small mouthful of your hydrogen peroxide and water mix. Gargle and swish the mixture around in your mouth for 60 seconds. (You can use a timer or count silently in your head to 60 while gargling.)
  3. Spit the solution out after gargling. Don’t try to gargle the mixture for more than 90 seconds.

Propel VPro5 is a daily routine and requires no aftercare at all.

Other Ways to Accelerate Treatment

Want to speed up your orthodontic treatment beyond the benefits of PROPEL?

There are ways you can ensure that you are maximizing your treatment for the fastest possible finished result. If you are dedicated to following these other tips, you can fast track to your perfect smile.

  • AVOID HARD AND CHEWY FOODS:  All these types of foods will do is cause havoc with your brackets and wires. You will lose time correcting your smile until you can get things fixed. The pressure of these foods on the brackets and wires can inhibit the intended direction your braces and aligners are working hard to achieve!
  • DO NOT LEAVE OUT YOUR ELASTICS: Elastics can be painful, annoying, and often very visible during treatment. It is tempting to leave them out and just use them at night, but that will slow down your progress significantly. Remove them to eat, but always replace them straight away to maximize your treatment.
  • CUT UP FOODS INTO PIECES: Things like whole fruits, even pizza slices, or burgers are examples of things that would be best eaten cut into bite-sized portions. Avoiding the biting action into foods that you need to tear off from a larger piece will help save your brackets and wires from potential damage.
  • KEEP APPOINTMENTS AND ALWAYS KEEP A CLEAN MOUTH: Keeping your appointments will mean quicker changes to your alignment setup. If you miss appointments and can’t be seen for a few weeks, you are slowing down your process. A healthy and clean mouth and gums are also essential for healthy teeth once the process is complete and will help things move along more efficiently.

With the in-office and at-home options with PROPEL, it is easy to see why braces and aligners have become even more popular for those seeking their perfect smile at every age.

Smile alignment does not have to take forever and with today’s orthodontic options rearranging your smile has never been faster or easier.

Looking for Accelerated Orthodontics in Vancouver and Surrey?

Propel Excellerator and VPro 5 work for various cases and are compatible with both braces and Invisalign. It is safe for patients of all ages. The orthodontists at PacificWest Dental can provide proper advice on which option is best for your specific case.

Want a faster orthodontic treatment plan? Book a consultation and learn more about accelerated orthodontics today!

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Dr. Wang, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C)
Orthodontist
Dr. Kevin Lee, DMD, MSc, FRCD(C)
Orthodontist