Incorporating a new orthodontic treatment for cosmetics in an adult dentition

Orthodontics can be very daunting for many general dentists. But now might be the time to consider adding some of the newer techniques to your armamentarium. One such treatment is Six Month Smiles, which can offer patients a beautiful, new smile in as little as six months. Dr. Marielaina Perrone talks about this orthodontic treatment and its benefits to both patients and general practitioners.


Orthodontics can be very daunting for many general dentists. Many attend continuing education courses and learn a little here and a little there but never fully delve into orthodontics. This has begun to change with the development of Invisalign and now, Six Month Smiles. This new method allows us to give our patients a beautiful, new smile in as little as six months.

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SixmonthsmilesposterWhat is Six Month Smiles orthodontic treatment?
Six Month Smiles is a type of orthodontics treatment intended for cosmetics in an adult dentition. The movement of teeth in this method does not involve a change in molar relationships, nor does it correct skeletal malocclusion. It is restricted to movement of anterior teeth and premolars. It combines traditional orthodontic methods with the use of "invisible" or clear materials. The white wires and clear brackets give us the ability to dramatically improve the look of our adult patients in a more discreet way. Six Month Smiles is generally completed in four to eight months, with monthly appointments. It is more convenient and acceptable to adults who would otherwise refrain from orthodontics. The process provides effective and quick-moving cosmetic results.

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What are the benefits of treatment?
Some of the many advantages for your patients include:

• Fast results. Six Month Smiles is reported to be more than two times as fast as traditional orthodontic braces. Traditional braces may take 12 to 24 months to straighten the teeth. Placement of brackets is quick and easy for the practitioner with the lab-created stents. These allow the dentist to place all the brackets in at one time and light-cure one arch at a time.

• Predictability. A major drawback of clear retainers is predicting final outcome on all patients. Six Month Smiles uses traditional types of orthodontic materials and techniques to give more predictable results. The rapid movement and frequent visits allow any issues or concerns to be addressed and corrected quickly.

• Increased patient comfort. Lower degrees of force are used during Six Month Smiles vs. traditional orthodontics. When you are not moving molars, you do not need to have the same extent of forces used in traditional orthodontics.

• Decreased risk of tooth decay. The longer a patient undergoes orthodontic therapy, the higher the risk of development of tooth decay. Maintaining good dental hygiene around brackets and wires can be a challenge even for the best patient. The speed of Six Month Smiles lowers the overall risk. Adults tend to keep their braces cleaner and adhere to altered diet instructions better than younger patients.

• Cost savings. Six Month Smiles treatment generally runs between $2,500 and $4,000 vs. traditional orthodontics, which can run from $3,000 to $7,000. That is quite a savings in time and money … time being the crucial factor for most adults who do equate their time with money.

Benefits to the general dentist

  • The appointments are fast and can be done mostly by well trained staff.
  • Your patients will require extra hygiene appointments.
  • The training is quick and relatively inexpensive.
  • Most patients will want to whiten their teeth when done.
  • Cosmetic dental work will yield better results.
  • Patients will be happy and refer others to you!

Learning these techniques generally encompasses going to a two-day seminar, which can alter the direction of your practice. The upside to the program is a panel of online, experienced dentists who are available to guide you during treatment of your own patients. The seminar will teach proper patient selection, adequate treatment planning with photos and models, wire selection, application and removal of braces, retention, troubleshooting, interproximal reduction methods, and when to remove teeth.

Disclosure: Dr. Marielaina Perrone discloses no conflict of interest.

Marielainaperronedds SquareMarielaina Perrone, DDS, is a family, cosmetic, and implant dentist creating and enhancing beautiful smiles in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website for more information.

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