You’re an adult seeking orthodontic treatment you never received as a child. Perhaps your overbite has always bothered you, or maybe your teeth are crooked and crowded, making cleaning difficult as well as detracting from your facial appearance. You’ve decided now is the time to get your teeth straightened. You want to feel more confident about your smile.
You may be wondering if you’ll have to spend years in metal braces. There’s good news. Because so many adults started asking for orthodontic treatment, the dental profession stepped up. A new technique is available that allows adult orthodontic treatment to progress at an exponentially faster rate than it does with children.
Dr. Karen Reese with Reese Orthodontics in New Hope and Chanhassen, Minnesota, has invested in advanced training to provide Wilckodontics®, or Accelerated Osteogenic Orthodontics™ (AOO) to her adult patients. Here’s what you need to know.
What is AOO?
Drs. William and Thomas Wilcko developed and patented Wilckodontics, or Accelerated Osteogenic Orthodontics in 1995. CT technology helped the doctors understand why teeth moved so rapidly after a procedure called a corticotomy.
A corticotomy removes the outer cortex, or cortical part of the bone in your jaw. In adults, it has a high resistance to orthodontic treatment. However, the procedure keeps the bone marrow and maintains blood flow and bone tissue. With the cortical bone removed, teeth move easily and quickly.
Dr. Reese performs the corticotomy surgery along with a bone graft over the site. After a week or two of healing post-surgery, Dr. Reese installs braces to steer your teeth into the desired position, but for a comparatively short period of time compared to regular orthodontic treatment.
The bone mineralizes again after the surgery, producing calcium and phosphate, giving it renewed strength. Because your gums are no longer stressed from crooked or misaligned teeth, the end result is healthier teeth and gums.
Who is a candidate for AOO?
Healthy individuals whose permanent teeth have all come in are generally candidates for the procedure. It is contraindicated in certain instances. If you have any of the following issues, AOO may not work well for you:
- Periodontitis (gum disease)
- TMD (jaw joint disorders)
- Weak immune system
- Extensive use of steroids, anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), or immunosuppressant medications
- Osteoporosis or other bone disease
Benefits of AOO
There are several benefits to AOO over traditional adult orthodontics.
The AOO technique moves teeth three to four times faster than regular orthodontic treatment. The average patient only wears braces for three to eight months instead of up to two years.
Better gum health
Traditional braces may affect your gums. Studies show that AOO treatment results in better gingival health.
Better facial results
If you want a more pleasing facial appearance from your orthodontics, AOO maximizes desired facial remodeling. For example, if your overbite has given you a receding chin, you’ll see a noticeable improvement in your facial structure.
Increased bone width
Even though the corticotomy weakens the bone to enable the teeth to move into place, once your teeth move and braces are applied, the treatment actually increases the width of the alveolar area, the bony ridge that your teeth fit into, aiding stability post-treatment.