The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that OrthoAccel Technologies’ marketing is misleading. The company has claimed that its Acceledent can speed up orthodontic treatment by up to 50% and that it has been clinically proven to reduce the pain and discomfort of wearing braces by up to 71%.
The Acceledent is a handheld oscillating device that patients with braces or aligners can purchase. The theory is that its vibrations help teeth move faster. 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 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,” the ASA said in its adjudication.
“Orthodontic treatment can take up to two years to complete, and so the quest to speed up the process is understandable,” said Richard George, director of external relations for the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), which is calling on manufacturers of orthodontic devices and systems to ensure all their claims can be backed up by high-quality research.
“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 recognized enhanced skills who can meet your needs,” said George.
“Patients need confidence that the products marketed to support their orthodontic treatment provide the benefits claimed,” said Neil Hillyard, a patient who has completed adult orthodontic treatment and a member of the BOS patient panel.
“This ruling from the ASA provides reassurance that the dental profession continues to challenge misleading advertising, helping patients to avoid unnecessary expense and disappointment,” Hillyard said.
The ASA is the United Kingdom’s independent regulator of advertising across all media. It applies the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice, in its hearings. 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.