Whether it’s for financial or aesthetic reasons, many people thinking about tooth alignment want to know, “What’s the fastest method to straighten teeth?”
There’s no shortcut to straight teeth. The fastest orthodontic treatment involves patience and following your orthodontist’s recommendations—they know how to straighten your teeth for the best results.
That said, there are some factors that can play a role in quicker treatment. Some new orthodontic findings are also providing potential opportunities for speedier straightening.
If you’re interested in hearing more about what’s the best way to straighten your teeth, keep reading. We’re sharing professional insight into the fastest way to get your teeth straight.
How to Straighten Your Teeth
Even if you know a little about how orthodontists straighten teeth and the methods used, it’s always good to start with the basics.
Here are the three most important things to know about teeth straightening before talking about the fastest method to straighten teeth.
#1. See an Orthodontist
First thing’s first: you should always see a trained orthodontist about teeth straightening. Both dentists and orthodontists have the same initial dental school training. Orthodontists then continue their education for another two years to become experts in moving teeth—orthodontists are teeth straightening experts.
#2. Braces vs. Invisalign
The second thing to know about teeth straightening is that there are two primary appliances: traditional wire braces and Invisalign.
With traditional braces, orthodontists cement metal brackets onto your teeth and run a metal wire through them. The brackets and wire will remain on your teeth until your treatment is complete.
Invisalign is a clear, plastic mouthpiece (often called aligners or trays) that you place over your teeth. You can remove Invisalign trays when eating, drinking, or brushing. But for best results, it’s recommended that you wear your trays for 20-22 hours per day.
Both of these methods work in a similar way to bring teeth into alignment and close gaps.
#3. How Teeth Move
Remember when we said that orthodontists receive specialized schooling to straighten teeth? That’s because there’s more to moving teeth than putting brackets on your teeth or making you an Invisalign tray—there’s a real, scientific process involved.
Orthodontists use braces and Invisalign to open up new space in your mouth for teeth to move into. These tools accomplish this feat by:
- Putting pressure on teeth
- Stretching and compressing the periodontal ligament
- Breaking down bone
- Building bone back up again
Over months or years, this process slowly and effectively moves teeth into the correct position.
Now that we have some basic understanding of teeth straightening, let’s dive into how much time it takes to straighten teeth and the factors involved.
How Much Time it Takes to Straighten Teeth
The average orthodontic treatment time is two years, with some people needing less than a year and others requiring three or more years.
The length and speed of your orthodontic treatment will mainly depend on the complexity of your case. Sometimes Invisalign will be the fastest orthodontic method. Other times, braces or a combination of Invisalign and braces is the quickest.
Mild to Moderate Cases
In mild to moderate cases, Invisalign is typically the fastest method to straighten teeth.
Some malocclusions (teeth misalignments), like front-to-back bite issues, may require you to wear rubber bands to fix the issue. Rubber bands attach to your braces or Invisalign trays to help align your jaw. You can wear rubber bands earlier with a front-to-back bite, so correction can start immediately.
With traditional braces, orthodontists often have to wait four to six months after starting treatment to introduce rubber bands. This delay in rubber band treatment means that sometimes Invisalign can expedite your alignment by a few months.
If cases are considered difficult or complex, then the fastest way to get your teeth straight depends on your unique situation.
Let’s use deep bites as an example again. There are deep bite situations that may require your orthodontist to place upper braces first. After 4-6 months, they’ll place the lower braces. The needed lag in treatment in the lower braces adds a few extra months onto your overall process.
Additionally, there are some things orthodontists can do with braces that they can’t with Invisalign. Sometimes, an orthodontist may start with traditional braces but can transition to Invisalign later. Both braces and Invisalign are similar in their methods but also have unique strengths. Treatment all depends on your specific alignment needs.
Recently, some breakthroughs in alignment speed have arisen that could help expedite an alignment procedure.
New Ways to Straighten Teeth Faster
Two new methods have recently provided some evidence for increasing braces or Invisalign treatments. One approach is called Propel (or MOPs), and the other uses vibration devices.
Propel’s scientific name is micro-osteoperforations (MOPs) and is the method that has the most evidence behind it.
Earlier, we mentioned that tooth alignment involves putting pressure on teeth. This pressure breaks down and builds up bone surrounding teeth. Propel is a scientific way of trying to accelerate this process.
By poking calculated holes in a patient’s gumline, orthodontists seek to increase the activity of bone-building and bone-destroying cells. The result is that teeth move slightly faster into the desired position.
Using the Propel method, some orthodontists have seen a 2.3X increase in alignment treatment speed.
Another recent method for speeding up orthodontic treatment with Invisalign aligners involves vibration devices.
Some people believe that the vibrations caused by these devices initiate cellular-level changes that improve the efficiency of an Invisalign treatment. However, there isn’t any scientific research that strongly backs this up yet.
A second theory is that these devices don’t have a biological effect but instead move the trays more firmly into place and cause them to fit better. Having a tighter fit allows for more predictable movements, resulting in Invisalign aligner changes every five days instead of seven. Some orthodontists who have used both the Propel and vibration methods report changes every three days.
Ultimately, a good orthodontist isn’t going to focus solely on speed. Their primary goal is to ensure that you receive proper care and positive results without any issues.
What’s the Fastest Way to Straighten Teeth?
Bigger, better, and faster is the seeming motto of our world, and orthodontic treatment isn’t unaffected by this desire. People who get braces or Invisalign often want to know:
- What’s the fastest method to straighten teeth?
- How much time does it take to straighten teeth?
- Is there one procedure that’s the fastest orthodontic treatment?
Most treatment lengths depend on the complexity of the person’s needs. Overall treatment time for simple cases will be shorter than for more complex issues. Sometimes Invisalign is the fastest way to straighten your teeth, and other times the orthodontist will need to use traditional braces.
Some potential developments could reduce the amount of time it takes to finish an orthodontic procedure. Propel is a more scientific approach that involves speeding up the rate of bone destruction and restoration. Others are using vibration devices to try to increase treatment speed.
However, the best way to know how to straighten your teeth effectively and efficiently is to talk to a trained orthodontist.
At Bates Orthodontics, we’re passionate about providing individuals with a smooth and professional orthodontic experience. Whether you’ve got a simple or complex case, we’re ready and able to give you expert advice and care. We desire to deliver a treatment plan that’s quick and effective without compromising excellence.
Book your free consultation online today. We’ll make sure you understand your situation and know what the best treatment option is for you.