The terms ‘accelerated orthodontics’ or ‘six month orthodontics’ describe limited orthodontic treatments that last for a limited period, around six months or less, usually focusing on the “smile zone,” the front part of the mouth.
Orthodontics is the dental specialty that helps diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities called malocclusions. You can read more about orthodontic problems and their treatment options in our article on combination dental treatments.
Orthodontic treatments focus on moving either the teeth or the jaw into a better placement or angle to correct bite problems, with individual teeth and with groups of teeth.
Moving teeth and the jaw takes time. The speed of movement does not depend on technology or frequency of adjustment alone, but also on how each person’s body responds to treatment. Whether with conventional braces or modern techniques such as Invisalign, teeth move at their own natural pace and cannot be ‘accelerated’. This is equally true for jaw adjustments.
The length of time taken to straighten teeth or correct bite malocclusion depends upon the distance teeth need to be moved, and the order or sequence according to which they must be moved. Orthodontics is essentially a step-by-step gradual process, regardless of the technology implemented to effect change.
Most orthodontists will confirm that both conventional and modern orthodontic treatments can take up to a year, and sometimes longer, to resolve most issues. Once correction is achieved, some level of maintenance may be necessary for a lifetime orthodontic solution. Otherwise, accelerated treatments may only address a limited number of goals, or produce less than satisfactory outcomes.
Accelerated orthodontics may be suitable for adults who have been recommended for orthodontic treatment. Tooth straightening, closing gaps, tooth spacing, and repositioning of front teeth are all possible with accelerated methods. If tooth crowding is an issue, teeth may need to be contoured. As well as using conventional orthodontic techniques, accelerated orthodontics may require intervention, such as periodontal or gum surgery, necessitating a combined treatment approach.
Accelerated treatments end once the expected ‘look’ is achieved. Such an approach will not correct the bite or root angulations, and for this reason, accelerated treatments are suitable only for adults. Comprehensive orthodontic treatments are suited for children and teens, who their facial structure and teeth continue to develop.
Before proceeding with accelerated orthodontic treatments, ensure you understand the treatment goals and the expected outcome by clarifying these matters with your dentist or orthodontist.