Millions of adults today are unhappy and embarrassed with their smile. While there is a solution to that (i.e. orthodontic treatment), most adults will go for it because of the thought of having to wear those visible wires for two or three years. Luckily for them, there is a new, safe, effective, and fast cosmetic solution to having perfectly aligned teeth and a beautiful smile – Six Month Smiles.
Six Month Smiles is a perfect fit in this world where people want everything to be fast (including treatments). What is it and how does it work? Learn the answers through this article.
Six Month Smiles is a short-term orthodontic treatment that provides a modern twist on traditional orthodontic braces. Braces are still the tried and tested method of correcting orthodontic problems, but most patients are not fans of it because of the treatment duration and aesthetic concerns. Six Month Smiles addresses both of these concerns by correcting the problem in the shortest time possible. At the same time, the procedure gives the patient a cosmetic solution through the use of tooth-colored brackets and wires that are nearly invisible.
Traditional braces are still the best solution for most orthodontic problems as they provide the most predictable results. Six Month Smiles has the best aspects of traditional braces minus the long treatment duration and unaesthetic metal wires and brackets. It makes use of the latest technology that allows tooth movement to occur gently and quickly. The treatment is best suited for those who have alignment problems in their front teeth.
Compared to Six Month Smiles, other forms of orthodontic treatment require much longer to complete. Traditional braces need anywhere from two to three years, while Invisalign and ClearCorrect require at least 18 to 24 months. Moreover, with Invisalign and ClearCorrect, the effect is also dependent upon the patient’s compliance when it comes to wearing their aligners. Six Month Smiles is working all the time so improvements can be seen in as early as six to nine months instead of a couple of years. Six Months Smiles works faster because it is active all the time and works mainly to correct the teeth that are visible. The wires are fixed in place. Another advantage is that the wires used are only slightly visible, if not virtually invisible.
Six Months Smiles also carries very minimal risk to the teeth, gums, or any other surrounding tissues. Since the treatment uses a light and controlled force in the shortest time possible, the risks may even be fewer compared to that of traditional braces.
The duration of treatment depends on the difficulty of the case but Six Months Smiles generally requires six to nine months to correct an orthodontic problem. Severe crowding and deep bite requires a longer treatment period while mild crowding and misalignment tend to get corrected much faster. Some mild cases only require as short as four months. Other factors include the present condition of the oral cavity, bone support of the teeth, and the presence of oral habits like biting or chewing on hard objects (i.e. ice, and wood).
Once Six Months Smiles has been insterted, the patient will be expected to return to his dentist after four to five weeks – much like the interval in traditional braces. The appointments will continue until the treatment is finished.
Patients think that Six Months Smiles and Invisalign are the same. That is a very common misconception. Invisalign is an orthodontic appliance that looks more like a mouth guard while Six Months Smiles is an orthodontic brace that is less visible than the traditional one.
Six Months Smiles is recommended for mild to moderate cases of orthodontic problems. Severe cases will require other more intensive treatment. Also, the main focus of this treatment are the teeth that show when the patient smiles so its effect on the back teeth may be minimal.
The cost of Six Months Smiles varies greatly among dentists, but in general it is cheaper than traditional braces and Invisalign. Reports say that the estimated cost is around $3,000-$4,000 for both upper and lower arches. The fee already includes the retainer that will be worn after treatment.
As the name suggests, improvements can be seen in as early as six months. And as with any other orthodontic treatment, the patient will be required to wear retainers after treatment. This is to maintain the results as well as ensure that the results will last longer. Without retainers, the problem will most likely reoccur and need to be corrected again.
Retainers can be fixed or removable, depending on the patient’s preference. Fixed retainers are bonded onto the patient’s teeth, providing a continuous effect for as long as needed. Removable retainers are also available for those who want to remove their retainers at night. But, with removable retainers, patient compliance is the number one concern. Most instances of orthodontic problems that have relapsed are actually those cases where the patient decided they did not want to wear the retainers or they have lost them. They end up coming back to get their teeth straightened again.
Once Six Month Smiles are inserted, patients are advised to maintain good oral hygiene. Dentists may recommend special cleaning aids that will help clean the areas underneath the wire. Certain foods may need to be avoided, especially the sticky ones, since they may get stuck under the braces and cause displacement of the appliance. Other foods that should be avoided include hard foods and sweets.
Six Months Smiles, or any orthodontic appliance, is just a tool that can help correct the problem. Their effectiveness is only as good as the dentist monitoring them and the patient following the steps of the procedure. Choose a dentist that is trained enough to know everything from the diagnosis of the problem all the way down to the execution of the treatment plan. The success of a treatment will always rely on the healthcare provider’s knowledge, skills, training and experience.
As for the patient, having the braces inserted is just the beginning. What is even more important is what they do after the insertion. Following the dentist’s instructions of oral health care and maintenance is extremely important. Patients should also be compliant enough to come back for subsequent appointments, and must be willing to finish the treatment that will definitely take several months to complete.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - AA
Based on an exclusive interview with Dr. Steven Deaton in Hugo, OK