PROPEL to Decrease Orthodontic Treatment Time

Dr. Weber offers an innovative option for enhancing your orthodontic treatment, called PROPEL Orthodontics. PROPEL is “a patented, FDA-registered medical device specifically designed to create micro-osteoperforations.” Basically what this means is that very tiny punctures are created in your jaw with this device. These tiny punctures cause a localized inflammatory response, increasing blood flow and cytokines to the area. Increasing cytokine activity increases “bone remodeling activity.” Bone remodeling activity simply means teeth moving.

Not surprisingly, the word “puncture” is probably enough to make you cringe and say, “Nope. No way!” But, let’s dig a little deeper, before making final a decision on being for or against PROPEL.

First off, if you do have PROPEL treatment done at Weber Orthodontics, you will always have either a topical anesthetic or a novocaine injection, similar to getting a filling at the dentist. This means you’ll be numb and ensures you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. PROPEL can be performed at any of your regular appointments.

After treatment, you may start to feel some minor discomfort. Remember, PROPEL is designed to create an inflammatory response, so itching and/or slight swelling of the gum tissue can occur. This will subside within a few days. A salt water rinse and some acetaminophen (ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are not recommended during orthodontic treatment) will provide relief in the meantime.

PROPEL is exceptionally useful for specific teeth that have a lot of moving to do. It gives the treated teeth an extra bit of oomph, so they can catch up with others that may not need as much correction. It can be performed on one, many, or all teeth. This treatment can be used in conjunction with all braces, as well as Invisalign® clear aligners. One single treatment of PROPEL will provide results, but Dr. Weber may recommend multiple treatments every 6-8 weeks, depending on your specific needs. Each treatment is $125; our team can help you find out how much of this cost will be covered by your orthodontic insurance.

As for the effectiveness of the technology behind PROPEL, the National Institutes of Health found, in a 2013 study, that micro-osteoperforations moved patients’ teeth 2.3 times faster than those who did not receive the treatment. The patients who participated in the study “did not report significant pain or discomfort during or after the procedure, or any other complications.” The researchers concluded that “micro-osteoperforation is an effective, comfortable, and safe procedure to accelerate tooth movement and significantly reduce the duration of orthodontic treatment.”

So, while PROPEL may initially sound a little scary, and maybe even painful, some further information gathering proves out that:

  • Measures can effectively be taken to reduce any minor discomfort patients may experience.
  • Research shows that this treatment is particularly effective in helping patients finish treatment in a shorter amount of time.

And since Dr. Weber has never had a patient who didn’t welcome the idea of getting out of braces or aligners earlier than expected, it’s definitely a worthwhile treatment option.