Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Sundaralingam Premaraj, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., FRCD(C)

Second Advisor

Peter J. Giannini, D.D.S., M.S.

Third Advisor

Stanton D. Harn, Ph.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of mechanical vibration on pain experienced and rate of tooth movement (OTM) during the initial alignment phase of orthodontic treatment.

Materials and Methods: Participants were randomly allocated to control, low frequency or high frequency. An electric toothbrush was modified to provide high frequency vibration. A low frequency vibration device was acquired from a commercial vendor. Experimental groups applied vibration to the dentition for 20 minutes daily. All participants completed questionnaires using visual analog scales at five time points. Pain experience was measured in millimeters (mm) with the scale measuring 100 mm in length, left hand side at 0 mm. Rate of alignment was assessed using an Irregularity Index of mandibular incisors correlated to days until full alignment of the lower arch.

Results: High frequency vibration participants reported significantly less pain at 4 hours compared to low frequency participants (p=0.0460). No other significant differences for pain were found. Participants who received low frequency vibration with a higher initial irregularity aligned significantly slower than control participants (p=0.0107). No other significant differences in rate of alignment were found.

Conclusions: Mechanical vibration significantly reduced the pain experience for the high frequency vibration participants compared to low frequency vibration participants at one of five time points (4 hours) during the first week of orthodontic treatment. Mean alignment rates did not significantly differ between treatment groups. Participants who received low frequency vibration with high initial irregularity aligned significantly slower compared to control participants.

Available for download on Tuesday, June 05, 2018