When it comes to straightening teeth, there is a lot you can accomplish in one year.

And though treatment time often extends past one year in more complex cases, a reasonable improvement is easily attained in a shorter timeframe. For patients who come to me with less than a year before their wedding, or any other big event, I can focus on the esthetics and accelerate that portion to make the smile better. While I might still be working on more complex issues, such as the bite, the improved smile will be noticeable in the first year.

Here are some ways to speed up the process:

• A more aggressively designed series of aligners.

If a patient is extremely pressed for time, I can design the aligners to accelerate movement—particularly the front teeth. However, the aligners may be a little tighter and less comfortable, so it is not ideal for most patients.

• AcceleDent

This FDA-approved medical device shortens treatment time by 30 to 40 percent by stimulating the bone to remodel faster. How does it work? Patients put a small rechargeable device over their aligners and bite down on it for 20 minutes every day. These calibrated vibrations transmit through the roots of the teeth to the surrounding bone, which speeds up the rate at which teeth can move.

• Periodontal accelerated osteogenic orthodontics.

A technique that can cut treatment time by 50 percent, I drill tiny pinholes in the bone between teeth to stimulate the healing response so the bone changes faster and speeds up movement of the teeth.

I have patients who not only come to me for treatment before a wedding, but also before other special events, such as school and family reunions. I also see many adults who are newly divorced and getting back onto the dating scene. Regardless of the occasion, it is possible to achieve a more beautiful smile, faster.