In today’s world, we want things instantaneously – we have the world in our fingertips with smartphones and can access virtually anything from anywhere. So why shouldn’t we be able to straighten our teeth in the blink of an eye?
New technology is being released all the time that claims faster treatment times, and one called the Six Month Smile system claims to offer orthodontic treatment that is both faster and cheaper. But should patients ask their orthodontists and dentists for this treatment?
Not so fast, says Dr. Nima Hajibaik of Newpark Orthodontics.
“Straightening the teeth is an art, that takes careful planning and precision on the part of the orthodontist,” says Dr. Nima. “Treatment can’t be one size fits all, because no two malocclusions are the same, and no two patients respond the same to treatment.”
So what exactly is the Six Month Smile System?
Essentially, it’s a one size fits all tooth straightening kit in a box. It is composed of low quality wires and brackets that go on the front teeth. The system uses regular orthodontic forces to guide the front teeth to better locations.
But many orthodontists have concerns about its use. First, any dentist can use the system after completing a short course certification program; in most cases, in fact, it’s only a weekend course. Dentists are wonderful at what they do, but only orthodontists have the unique knowledge and skills to fully understand how the teeth, jaw and muscles of the mouth work together to form an ideal bite. Would you trust your primary care physician to do cosmetic procedures, such as nose jobs or liposuction. You wouldn’t dream of having that done at your primary care physician’s office, the same is true with orthodontics.
Dr. Nima’s biggest concern, however, is how the system itself works. The front teeth are the teeth the world sees when we smile, so correcting those may present a more esthetically pleasing smile. But, it won’t address more serious issues a patient may have with his or her bite. It can be fairly easy to correct issues for cosmetic reasons, but braces are about much more than just a pretty smile and performing a procedure, without diagnosing the problem and properly planning treatment, is like painting a house thats foundation is about to crumble.
“Achieving the ideal smile means ensuring the jaw fits together correctly, not just making teeth straighter,” says Dr. Nima.
“An incorrect bite can impair speech and eating, and many malocclusions need more personalized attention to detail and involved treatment to properly correct.”
Because every patient is different, each approach to correcting a smile must be different, too. Dr. Nima stresses the importance of customized care for each patient he treats. Custom treatment plans take into account each patient’s unique needs and offer the best outcome possible.
While having a new smile in just six months sounds appealing, it’s important to consult with a certified orthodontist before undergoing any treatment. Only a certified orthodontist has the knowledge and skill needed to determine the right course of treatment to ensure you have a beautiful smile that also functions effectively.