Do they work?, Do they move teeth quicker?, Are they cheaper?, I will try and answer and give my opinion on these and other aspects of Quick fix orthodontics.
Six Month Smiles is a brand (there are other similar companies), they are an American company offering UK “General Dentists a short term ortho system”. They offer a 2 day course in Teeth Straightening and then supply sales and marketing materials for dentists who are then able to treat patients immediately.
Why are 6 month smiles increasing in popularity? No one wants treatment for longer than necessary, especially if its braces on their teeth! With regular comprehensive Orthodontic treatment usually lasting between 12 -18 months, a result in 6 months can seem appealing. However, the teeth don’t move any quicker, it’s just fewer of them being moved. Ironically you don’t need to worry about wearing braces on your teeth at all with Invisalign Invisible braces.
How it works; Dentists take impressions of a patient’s teeth and send them to the company in America who send back (usually about 4 weeks later) a braces kit with brackets, wires, adhesive all included to fix to the patients teeth using the supplied template.
Which teeth does it straighten? Only the front 6 and usually does not consider any crowding at the back of the mouth or how the upper and lower arches bite together.
Does it work? Yes, it can do and in some circumstances an experienced dentist with good experience can achieve excellent results as cosmetic treatment, but remember it only moves the front 6 teeth and is not comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
Does it always take 6 months? No sometimes it can be less and often it is longer.
Does it work quicker than traditional braces? No, this is not new technology the brackets/wires/braces are conventional ones just moving the front teeth. Teeth move at a speed dictated by natural bone and other factors and each person’s teeth move at a different speed. The speed of movement is also determined in conjunction with the adjustment of the brace at subsequent visits. `
Ongoing Treatment; Putting braces on is only the start of treatment. Ongoing care with a trained/experienced Orthodontist will continually assess the teeth movement and adjust brackets and wires as needed as well as keeping you informed of progress and a likely completion date.
Is Six month smile treatment cheaper/Better value? No, usually not. Consider a mild case of gaps, the best scenario for using a 6-month smile system. The 6-month smile cost is approximately £3000, Invisalign i7 cost £2950 and traditional tooth coloured braces for the whole mouth cost from £3950 for comprehensive Orthodontic treatment. The cost of the treatment I provide is reflected in; the experience and expertise I offer, the length of time treatment takes and the cost of the quality materials I use. My aim is to give my patients a resulting smile that will last a lifetime.
Why don’t Specialist Orthodontists offer 6 month smiles as standard? We are trained to straighten the front teeth and give you the beautiful smile you always wanted, but we also consider your bite (under bites, over bites, open, cross and deep bites, as well as impacted teeth etc.) * Many of these bite issues are accountable for the additional time braces are on. It must also be considered if putting too much stress on the teeth by trying to move them too quickly would be counterproductive.
*If all factors are not considered when straightening teeth and rectified if necessary, problems may occur after the front teeth are straighten. Your teeth/mouth/jaw combination are a complex design and it needs a trained and experienced Orthodontist to be able to be able to fully consider this. As Specialist Orthodontists we train for a further 3 years solely in Orthodontics after qualifying as a dentist.
Why don’t 6 month smile providers usually need an OPG x-ray? This is a question you must ask the dentists providing this treatment. I use OPG x-rays to identify any hidden alignment or structural problems in the patient’s jaws and teeth. I would not be able to confirm a treatment plan without the OPG x-ray as they can determine where problems exist and the best way to correct them.
Can I provide a smile in 6 months? Yes, I can put your braces on or fit your first set of Invisalign usually within a week or 2. Alternatively, and again after considering all the all the factors I can put tooth coloured braces on your front teeth to achieve a short term treatment. In instances where short term treatment is an option, I will provide you with a treatment plan and costs for both short and longer term treatment for you to make a considered decision.
And finally please remember that 6-month smile systems just straighten the front 6 teeth, a complete Orthodontic course of treatment corrects and aligns all your teeth and ensures you are biting correctly and your teeth are in harmony with your jaws, face and lips.
Shirley qualified in Dentistry from The Royal London Hospital in 1992 and she achieved her M Orth specialist qualification in orthodontics in 2000. Shirley was appointed as Consultant Orthodontist at Bart’s Health Trust in 2004 and now works as an Orthodontic Consultant at the new Royal London Hospital site.
At the Wapping Dental Centre, Shirley is able to offer the very latest treatments available, enabling her to treat adult and child patients who have simple, moderate and complex needs and to improve both the appearance and the function of their teeth.
“Patients in my care receive my personal attention at all times and are treated solely by me. I love to treat patients and help them achieve and keep for life the Beautiful, Healthier and Happier smiles they desire. I look forward to meeting you and helping however I can.”