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Orthodontist finds new way to align molars without brackets

A Korean orthodontist has found a new way to align crooked molars without using metal brackets, allowing elderly patients to receive this particular orthodontic treatment ― which is often a requirement for dental implant surgery ― in comfort.

Orthodontist and professor Jeon Yoon-sik, who currently practices at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, invented a new technology that simply uses a thin wire to align tilted teeth without using metal brackets and rubber bands.

The new method reduces treatment time and pain, according to the hospital.
Dentist and professor Jeon Yoon-sik at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital. (Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital)
Dentist and professor Jeon Yoon-sik at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital. (Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital)

Jeon’s research findings on his new technology were recently featured in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, said the hospital.

When someone loses a back tooth, either because of cavities or severe gum disease, there is a greater chance of the remaining molars becoming crooked, filling in the space needed for dental implant placement.

Jeon said many elderly patients with this particular condition give up the option of dental implants as they find it hard to go through the necessary orthodontic treatment to align the molars.

“The idea of wearing traditional braces, which consist of a small bracket that is glued to the front of each and every tooth as well as the molars, can be overwhelming for many elderly patients,” professor Jeon said through the hospital.

The new technology, however, does not require patients to have the wire installed on every tooth, but just around the molar that needs to be straightened. The wire, which is as thin as a human hair, is only placed around the tooth and connected to mini screws placed into the gum.

“There are a lot of advantages of not using brackets,” said Jeon. “One of them is it reduces the chance of getting plaque, which forms easily around the food retained in and around glued brackets.”

Jean and his research team plan to further develop the technology and find ways to apply it to front teeth alignment as well.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)
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