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UK College of Dentistry Joins Vanguard
in Use of New Orthodontic Device

By Amanda White

 

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"This implant will expand the range of treatment options in orthodontics and permit us to do things we have not done before."

-- Mark Thomas, D.M.D., Assistant Professor and Division Chief of Periodontics, UK College of Dentistry

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July 18, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- When it comes to straightening teeth, most orthodontic patients dread being told they must wear headgear and chin cups.

However, a new implant being used at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry prevents some patients from wearing the unsightly and uncomfortable devices.

UK periodontists and orthodontists are among the first in the nation to use the dental implant, which aids orthodontic tooth movement.

The implant allows orthodontists to move teeth in ways not previously possible.

"This implant will expand the range of treatment options in orthodontics and permit us to do things we have not done before," said Mark Thomas, D.M.D., Assistant Professor and Division Chief of Periodontics, UK College of Dentistry.

Wearing headgear would prohibit 13-year-old Zackary Fain, of Nicholasville, from doing many of the activities he enjoys, including playing basketball. But while Fain's orthodontic care would typically have required wearing headgear for 12 hours per day, he received an implant at UK instead.

"It didn't take long at all-no pain," Fain said about the operation to implant the device.

During the 30-minute procedure, a small post is surgically placed in the roof of the patient's mouth, typically using only local anesthesia.

After a healing period, a small wire is attached to the implant and nearby teeth. This anchors the teeth and allows them to be used to move other teeth. Upon completion of orthodontic therapy, the implant is easily removed.

"The patients treated so far have reported that the procedure was easy and are glad to avoid the cumbersome headgear," Thomas said.


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