One of my most popular posts is called 24 month braces. I posted this several years ago and I have decided to update it to reflect the current state of orthodontics.

This is how I would promote 24 month braces…

24 month braces. Note the special elastic modules and the “space age” springs to move the teeth

Vervolg: I have decided to invent a new form of treatment: 24 month braces revisited!

 

A new paradigm in orthodontics

The 24 month brace orthodontic system/paradigm is a revolution for the treatment of malocclusion.  The system is based around using stainless steel brackets and wires.  You can fix the brackets to the teeth with glue.  The wires fit into the specially made brackets.  Magically designed polymeric “modules” hold the wires in the brackets.  The first wires fit loosely into the brackets and straighten the teeth.  You then fit thicker wires. We call these “rectangular” wires and you  move the teeth along these wires using “space age” springs.  You put the teeth in ideal positions using this technology.

You can use this appliance to correct overjets, overbites, crowding and buccal segment relationships.  It can even be used as part of orthognathic orthodontics.

Who can you treat with twenty four months braces?

You can treat any malocclusion with 24 month braces. Occasionally, you need to make space by extracting teeth. However, research shows that this does not lead to harm to the patient.

Unfortunately, the appliance does have some side effects. For example, most patients have some minor loss of the length of the roots of their teeth but this is about 1.7mm.  After you adjust the 24 month braces your patients may feel some pain and they need to be careful about what they eat.

When should I do this treatment?

Research shows that the best time to do this treatment is when a young person is about 12-13 years old.  Nevertheless, some orthodontists routinely provide treatment when children are younger.  Interestingly,  this is more  profitable expensive, not evidence based and makes the most of normal dental development.

Does it help with breathing problems?

There is no evidence that breathing problems can be corrected by 24 month braces, jaw developers or snake oil lubricated bits of plastic.

How long does the treatment take?

On average it takes about 24 months to treat a patient, sometimes slightly more and sometimes less.

Can the treatment be speeded up?

There are several new methods of trying to speed up tooth movement. These include making cuts in bones, shining laser lights on the gums and even vibrating teeth for 20 minutes a day with a special vibration device that your patients hold in their mouths. Orthodontists can use these with 24 month braces.  However, if you are up to date with the literature, you will be telling your patients that these methods do not work.

Is there any research behind this treatment?

Yes, researchers have looked at the effects of these braces for many years. Unfortunately, scientific journals restrict the publication of this research behind paywalls, and not available to the general public. If you want to read this research you have to be a member of an orthodontic society.

Orthodontic societies organise conferences. At these conferences research on this appliance is often presented to empty rooms by academic orthodontists.

However, some orthodontists present to packed rooms and show their best treatments to expound their own treatment mechanics and marketing. Other orthodontists call them “the rockstars of orthodontics”. They often put posts on social media saying “watching Dr ?? rocking the AAO at San Diego”.  Key Opinion Leaders, who are paid by the supply companies to promote their products are also called “rockstars”.  They sometimes talk at special company events and other orthodontists worship at their feet and take selfies with them.

Training

This treatment cannot be taught by attending a day course based in an airport, helped out by business coaches, interested advocates, flash advertising and one man and a dog “schools of orthodontics”.

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. You can attend a three year specialty training course or gain considerable supervised experience as a general practitioner. This takes time, effort and hard work….

How do I sell the treatment?

You do not need to sell this type of treatment.  It is the best way to comprehensively treat malocclusion.  You should explain this to your patients to help them decide whether they want to have 24 month brace treatment.  Alternatively, they can try another method that is a short-term compromise, not supported by scientific evidence, speeded up by myths or provided by people with minimal training………

 

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