Orthotown June 2019 - 45

ibr at ion, m icropu l s at ion,
mechanical stimulation-call
it what you wish, we've all heard
about it and seen articles that either support
or dismiss it. Does it work? Is there science
behind it? Are they only just "aligner seaters,"
basically motorized chewies?
In all honesty, I have no idea. The
science behind it is not new and has been
used in orthopedic medicine and physical
therapy for decades. It makes sense. The
orthodontic literature presents conflicting
viewpoints, but let's be honest-all studies
in the field of orthodontics do. To isolate all
factors, to have no assessor bias and to have
full patient compliance is nearly impossible.
Even when studies conclude that a product
is "effective," I'm still a bit of a skeptic: Was
the study population representative of my
patients, my mechanics and my appointment
intervals? I need to see a product work
in my practice environment before truly
believing in it. So I'm here to discuss only
my experience using vibration-in particular,
high-frequency vibration devices (HFV)
from Propel Orthodontics.
We began using vibration technology
when it first came on the market, but the
cost of the devices was quite high to tag on
top of our typical orthodontic fees, and the
daily time commitment required of patients
proved prohibitive. Even our most motivated
patients weren't consistently using their
devices for the required 20 minutes a day.
After high-frequency vibration was
introduced-with a cycle of only 5 minutes
instead of 20-it became more likely that
patients would use the HFV device on a
consistent daily basis. This not only led to

an increase in patient compliance but also
eliminated "buyer's remorse" inspired by
items that were purchased but not used.
Another significant advantage was
pricing: We now charge patients only what
our costs are for the device. With a pricing
model based on practice volume, we're able
to include HFV in treatment with almost
no difference in monthly payment. At this
point, nearly all of our clear aligner cases
include HFV.

Noted benefits of HFV:
Reduced pain, faster movement
Any orthodontic treatment has the
potential to be uncomfortable at times.
With the market shift toward removable
clear aligner therapy, managing pain is
paramount to practice efficiency, because
a removable appliance can't move teeth if
it's been removed because it hurt too much.
Our patients who use the HFV device
report much lower pain levels at the start
of treatment and at each
aligner change. Some Some patients who initially
patients who initially
elected to not include elected to not include
adju nc t ive HF V in
their treatment asked adjunctive HFV in their
at their fi rst follow-up
treatment asked at their first
appointment if they
still could, and they've follow-up appointment if
consistently reported
that adding HFV has they still could, and they've
made all the difference.
consistently reported that
(This is not a scientific
research paper-I'm adding HFV has made all the
only reporting patient
feedback from my office.) difference.

orthotown.com \\ JUNE 2019

45


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Orthotown June 2019

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