The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has made a ruling this week that marketing claims in support of Acceledent, a device designed to speed up treatment, are misleading.
The ruling has been welcomed by the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), a charity and the voice of orthodontics in the UK, which calls on manufacturers of orthodontic devices and systems to ensure that all claims can be backed up by high quality research.
OrthoAccel Technologies Inc., based in Germany, claims on its website that Acceledent can speed up treatment by up to 50% and that it is clinically proven to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with wearing braces by up to 71%.
The ASA disagrees. Following a complaint in relation to two claims, the ASA examined research and case studies provided by OrthoAccel Technologies and ruled that the claims could not be substantiated and were misleading.
The ASA ruling states in its adjudication: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told OrthoAccel Technologies Inc not to make claims that their Acceledent device could move teeth faster and reduce pain for brace wearers unless they held adequate evidence to support such claims.”
Acceledent is a hand-held oscillating device which can be purchased by patients wearing braces or aligners. The theory is that the vibrations of the device help the teeth to move faster.
Richard George, Director of External Relations for the BOS, said:
“This is the third time in the last few years that the ASA has upheld a claim of misleading advertising in relation to an orthodontic product based on the lack of good quality evidence.
“Orthodontic treatment can take up to two years to complete and so the quest to speed up the process is understandable. However, what matters most is the quality of the treatment so that the best possible results can be achieved. The priority should be to see an orthodontist or a dentist with recognised enhanced skills who can meet your needs.”
The BOS has a wealth of information on its website for patients. To find out more about orthodontic treatment, consult our Orthodontics for Adults page here.
BOS Statement: Guidance on teledentistry and remote interactions in orthodontic care
Please find below an advice sheet on Guidance on teledentistry and remote interactions in orthodontic care (including remote monitoring of clear aligner treatment).
BOS Statement: Claims about orthodontics
The role of the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) is to promote the highest quality standard of care throughout the UK. This statement has been compiled by the BOS to help navigate some of the claims that are made about orthodontics, so you can find the best treatment for you or your child. More general information can be found elsewhere on the BOS website.
BOS Statement: Endocarditis
An association has recently been made in the national press between infective endocarditis and the orthodontic treatment of a young female patient.
BOS Statement: Choosing the right clinician
Choose your clinician carefully, says the British Orthodontic Society. A report (1) on EssexLive News detailing the orthodontic experiences of a young male patient who wore appliances for more than 5 years illustrates how important it is for patients to see a clinician who is suitably qualified.
BOS Statement: Interproximal reduction
Interproximal reduction (IPR) is a technique used during orthodontic treatment to create space for tooth alignment. It involves removing up to 0.5mm of enamel from the sides of teeth to enable the orthodontist to straighten them accurately. The technique can also be used to improve the shape of teeth. It's a routine procedure but it requires care, skill and experience.
BOS Statement: Do-it-yourself braces
A number of websites are offering the public the opportunity to carry out their own orthodontic treatment at home. Most involve an individual being “assessed” as to their suitability for treatment using “selfie” photographs which they take themselves with their mobile phone.
BOS Statement: Orthognathic treatment
“Each year it is estimated that around 3,000 people have orthognathic treatment with an overwhelming 90% saying it has dramatically improved their health and wellbeing. The BOS is campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of orthognathic treatment to patients with congenital conditions or dentofacial anomalies. The BOS wants to see NHS funding maintained for a procedure which has a dramatic and positive life-changing impact on the lives of patients.”