Dental experts reckon they have improved upon a surgical procedure that rapidly straightens teeth in months instead of years.
Researchers at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry have published the first case study of the successful use of a patient’s own bone material for the grafting necessary in the accelerated orthodontic surgical procedure.
Accelerated orthodontics is gaining popularity as a way for patients – particularly adults with mature bones – to speed up the time it takes to straighten misaligned bites and fix crowded teeth.
USC dentists used a procedure known as PAOO, short for Periodontally Accelerated Osteogenic Orthodontics.
With this technique, a periodontist uses special instruments to score the bone that holds the teeth in place and then applies bone graft material over the grooves.
The procedure is done under local anaesthetic in the dental surgery.
As the bone begins to heal, it softens slightly to allow teeth to be moved into alignment with dental braces in a matter of months.
Prior to the USC study, the bone graft material used for this procedure was bovine bone and bioactive glass particles to help the bone strengthen as it healed.
The team believes they could improve the technique by using the patient’s own bone instead of the artificial or bovine graft, especially as it ‘eliminates the risk of any disease transmission’.