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Shockwave Therapy on Orthodontic Tooth Movement: A Clinical Trial

Shockwave Therapy on Orthodontic Tooth Movement: A Clinical Trial


Title of study: Impact of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) on orthodontic tooth movement—a randomized clinical trial

Authors: Frank Falkensammer, Christoph Arnhart, Christoph Krall, Wolfgang Schaden, Josef Freudenthaler, Hans-Peter Bantleon

This clinical trial ventured into the field of orthodontics, examining the potential advantages, including safety, of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in aiding tooth movement during orthodontic treatments.  The study involved 26 adult patients undergoing treatment to move their lower second molars using a standard orthodontic apparatus, which included superelastic coil springs and mini-screws as temporary anchorage devices.

Participants were divided into two groups. The first group received a targeted shock wave treatment, consisting of 1,000 impulses aimed at the area of the intended tooth movement. This approach is akin to a non-invasive stimulation of the teeth. Conversely, the control group underwent a placebo procedure where the shock wave applicator was deactivated, thus serving as a comparative measure to assess the efficacy of the actual treatment.

Over a four-month observation period, the study meticulously monitored and compared tooth movement across both groups. This included evaluating various parameters such as the direction, angle, and rotation of tooth movement, in addition to assessing the health of the gums and surrounding periodontal tissue.

The findings indicated that the application of shock wave therapy did not result in a statistically significant acceleration of tooth movement when compared to the control group. However, there was a notable difference in the buccolingual tipping of the molars. Importantly, from a periodontal health perspective, both groups showed comparable outcomes, suggesting that shock wave therapy does not adversely affect the surrounding oral tissues.

A significant observation was the reduced plaque buildup in the group subjected to shock wave therapy. This suggests a potential ancillary benefit of the treatment in promoting oral hygiene.

In conclusion, while the study found that shock wave therapy did not significantly expedite orthodontic tooth movement, it highlighted its safety and potential oral health benefits. These findings suggest the viability of incorporating shock wave therapy into orthodontic treatment protocols.

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