South Korea has a history of being way more technologically advanced then the West in general, and is several years our senior in terms of medical and technological developments. The patenting laws are not as strict, and as such, inventors and engineers flourish. As a result of this, many new and interesting things are coming out of South Korea, the way technological advances used to flow out of (and still do to some extent) Japan.
The field of dentistry, in particular, of orthodontry are of course no exception to this rule. An amazing new gadget has been made awhile ago, and recently got the approval from the scrutinizing eye of the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA). The gadget fits in the palm of your hand and is an L-shaped little electronic appliance of sorts. What it does is it sends little micro vibrations throughout your jaw, stimulating your jaw bone and other bone material in your mouth. Yes, you do use it in your mouth, by biting on one end, and keeping it in there for 20 minutes. The vibrations stimulate the jaw, and realignment happens 38-50% quicker, or so the studies have proven.
The end you bite on is basically just a tooth guard with some charge in it, that vibrates and thus helps shorten the length of time that is needed to align your teeth. So far, at the end of clinical trials, no negative effects have been noted, and it seems safe to be used by absolutely everyone. Even if your teeth are loose, because of the design, you should be able to use the appliance without pain or injury.
It seems almost too good to be true, and it may be too early to guess, but it seems like the Koreans may have found the next staple in orthodontic treatments, and this may become a standard procedure in the next few years to come. The appliance is also hands free, so you can go about your daily, at home tasks (of course except eating or brushing teeth), while the appliance does its thing.
The benefits of this appliance for the comfort of the patients is obvious. A shorter treatment time also has health related benefits as well, however. Braces tend to accumulate plaque more, and can damage enamel as well. The shorter amount of time the patient has to wear them, the better, and since this appliance shortens that time, it is thus medically beneficial as well. All in all, this seems like a pretty good appliance to keep an eye out for, and as they are trying to expand their markets, perhaps soon you will be able to purchase one at your local drug store.