At the Yuba City Dentistry Group, we’ve used the Six Month Smiles system to help a number of patients improve the position and appearance of their teeth. In some case it is an effective substitute for braces that takes less time and produces good results.
But how does the Six Month Smile procedure work?
The Six Month Smile Method
The Six Month Smile method attempts to take the best aspects of conventional orthodontics and modify them to deliver comparable results in less time and using materials that are less noticeable than traditional braces. (However, it’s important to remember that the Six Month Smiles approach focuses on only the front 6 to 8 upper and lower front teeth and is not appropriate for patients requiring more extensive treatment.)
After conducting a thorough examination (which includes taking X-rays, photographs, and making impressions of your teeth), your dentist will determine if you would benefit from Six Month Smiles. This information will then be used to fabricate a series of models that will be used by the Six Month Smiles laboratory to design a special set of braces specifically for your mouth.
At the next appointment, your dentist will fit you with the Six Month Smile clear brackets and arch wires. Using a special bonding adhesive, he or she will fuse the brackets to your front teeth. A custom-fabricated tray is used to ensure that the brackets are placed in the perfect position. Next, the dentist will use high-intensity light to harden the adhesive, and then attach the tooth-colored arch wires and adjust them appropriately.
Just as when wearing traditional braces, you will need to see the dentist about once a month so he or she can make adjustments and tighten the arch wires. These appointments typically take about 15 – 20 minutes.
The entire treatment averages about six months (thus the name), but cases range anywhere from four to nine months.
Similarities and Differences Between Six Month Smiles and Traditional Braces
In many ways, wearing Six Month Smiles is similar to wearing traditional braces. You will need to maintain a good routine of oral hygiene and avoid eating certain foods. You will also experience some soreness and discomfort after your dentist makes adjustments, just as with traditional braces. (Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient for managing this discomfort.)
And as with braces, following removal of the Six Month Smiles appliance you will need to wear a retainer (either temporarily or permanently) to make sure your teeth do not return to their original position.
In contrast with traditional braces (which take between one and three years), the Six Month Smiles method is completed within a matter of months. As mentioned, the reason for this is Six Month Smiles focuses only on the front six to eight upper and lower teeth. It is limited to correcting more cosmetic problems involving these teeth, and is incapable of addressing complex bite or malocclusion problems.
Many patients also are drawn to the less conspicuous nature of the Six Month Smile system. Because of its clear brackets and tooth-colored arch wires, it is less visible to others than traditional braces.
Because of these limitations, the Six Month Smiles method typically costs less than traditional braces.
Making a Decision
If you’re concerned about your smile and wonder if the Six Month Smile treatment would work well for you, call us at the Yuba City Dentistry Group today. We’ll sit down and answer all your questions, then give you the guidance you need to make a good decision.
Schedule a Six Month Smiles Consultation