By: Dr. Christie Hagert, DDS
It is quite gratifying to be in a profession where I can change peoples’ lives. Many of my adult patients are self conscious about their smile. They tell me all the time that they wish they had straighter, better-looking teeth; that their parents had taken them to the orthodontist when they were kids; or that they had worn their retainers regularly after finishing orthodontics the first time around. How many of you with crooked, spaced, or misaligned teeth are afraid to smile? And how many of you think there is no solution? Well, I am pleased to say that at CascadesCenter for Dental Health, we offer several affordable and short-term options for adult patients who wish to achieve that “perfect smile.”
One great option I am excited to offer our patients is called Six Month Smiles, a short-term orthodontics system for adults 18 years of age and older. Most people immediately think of traditional metal braces worn for several years when it comes to straightening teeth, but that is not the case with Six Month Smiles. With Six Month Smiles, a patient’s chief cosmetic complaints can be corrected in less than nine months, often sooner, resulting in a pleasing and symmetrical smile!
The most obvious outcome of improving one’s smile is an attractive, toothy grin, but there are other benefits. For one thing, properly aligned teeth enable patients to take better care of their teeth and gums. Also, patients tend to be more motivated to take care of their teeth than they were prior to orthodontic treatment. And it goes without saying that a sense of renewed confidence is gained, which may carry over into one’s personal and professional lives. The end result is not just a beautiful smile, but a healthy one as well.
There are several different options available today for adults who wish to straighten their teeth. The three most common are Traditional Comprehensive Orthodontics, Clear Aligners, and Short-Term Orthodontics.
- Traditional Comprehensive Orthodontics is the traditional approach — metal braces are worn for an extended period of time. This option focuses on achieving an ideal finish, consisting of an ideal overjet/overbite, class 1 relationship and ideal root positions. Traditional Comprehensive Orthodontics is typically recommended for patients 18 years of age and younger, as well as adults looking to correct the above issues. Most adults are not interested in this option due to longer treatment time and metal braces.
- Clear Aligners, popularly known as Invisalign and Clear Correct, is a treatment option comprised of a series of custom-made, removable aligners designed to straighten teeth, and achieve each individual’s treatment objectives. Clear Aligners are only effective if the patient is “compliant.” With Clear Aligners, the patient is responsible for wearing the removable aligners for a recommended 22 hours per day. Some patients find it difficult to comply, which can result in delayed or unfinished treatment.
- The third option is Six Month Smiles which is a short-term orthodontic system. Short-term orthodontics is a cosmetically focused orthodontic treatment performed in less than nine months. Clear braces and tooth colored wires are utilized to gently straighten and align teeth. The brackets and wires are not removable, so the patient does not have to worry about being compliant, and the clear brackets and tooth-colored wires are far less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Plus, the average treatment time is only about six months. While Six Month Smiles is not a substitute for Traditional Comprehensive Orthodontics, it is a great option for a large percentage of adults who are looking to straighten crowded or crooked teeth and/or close spaces between their teeth.
I have really enjoyed treating patients with Six Month Smiles and my patients have loved it too. Take a look at these transformational results!