WSVN -- From the day 14-year-old Alyssa Uecker got her braces she's had one very important question.
Alyssa Uecker: "When were they coming off?"
These braces are designed to straighten Alyssa's teeth in about two years, but now she's part of a clinical trial testing a device that could move up the deadline.
In the study she bites down on the device for 20 minutes every day.
Alyssa Uecker: "It's like a little vibration."
It delivers low-frequency vibration to her teeth. Researchers believe it stimulates bone remodeling and speeds up the straightening process.
Dr. Dubravko Pavlin, Associate Professor of Orthodontics, Univ. of Texas: "Vibrations, when they are applied to the bone, there is a solid body of evidence in clinical trials and from experiments in humans and animals that the bone metabolism accelerates. It is faster. The bone remodels at a faster rate."
How much faster?
Dr. Dubravko Pavlin: "If we are talking about the average orthodontic treatment being maybe 24 months, 24 to 26 months, that would mean that we can shorten that treatment to maybe between 12 and 16 months."
After just six months Alyssa's teeth are making progress.
Orthodontist: "You had a little bit of crowding on the lower? And now look at me. Oh, wow!"
She is thrilled with her results so far.
Alyssa Uecker: "It's pretty exciting thinking that you might be able to get your braces off sooner just because of one little vibration movement every night."
Now, she looks forward to smiling and eating without all that metal in her mouth!
Tests show the battery operated device is safe for children and adults, but it's still pending FDA approval.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Lucie Portela Public RelationsUT Health Science Center San Antonio, TexasTel: (210) 567-2570