Patients in Phoenix Ask, “What’s the Difference Between Conventional Braces and Six Month Smiles?”

A look back in time shows that humans have always valued straight, evenly-spaced teeth. Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains of ancient beings with metal bands on teeth, presumably connected by catgut. Etruscans, precursors of the Roman civilization, also used orthodontic appliances. Orthodontics came out of the dark ages in the mid-1800s with a clearer understanding of the causes of malocclusion and advances in straightening technologies.

Today’s orthodontic patient is fortunate to have treatment choices, but those options can be confusing. Dr. Justin Frost shares this information to help patients in the Phoenix area understand the differences between conventional braces and Six Month Smiles.

Conventional Braces

An orthodontic treatment plan is designed specifically for your mouth and your straightening goals. It consists of a customized combination that may include:

  • Metal bands wrapped around teeth and cemented in place.
  • Bonded brackets, glued to the front surfaces of teeth.
  • Arch wires and tie wires that connect bands and brackets to apply movement pressure.
  • Elastic ligatures to apply additional directional force.
  • Self-ligating brackets that don’t require wires or ligatures.
  • Lingual braces that are fitted on the inside of the arch, so they don’t show.
  • Removable appliance that guide jaw growth.

It’s not really significant what parts and pieces go into your mouth over the course of orthodontic treatment. It is more important to know when conventional braces make sense. Braces remain the method of choice when the bite is out of balance, or the jaws misaligned. Signs of these conditions are upper teeth that rest behind the lower arch, or a lower jaw that shifts to one side or the other when chewing. In addition to straightening teeth, conventional braces can widen a very narrow arch and guide mouth development for younger patients. Treatment times vary widely from a few months to several years.

Six Month Smiles

Maybe you are the patient who chews just fine, and has no sign of TMJ disorder or unusual dental wear. You’d just like to have a more attractive smile, and not spend several years in hardware to get there. Six Months Smiles could be a terrific option.

This system consists of clear brackets and wires that match the color of your teeth, so the braces are barely noticeable. Six Month Smiles focuses on cosmetic enhancement – improving the alignment and spacing of the teeth that show when you smile, laugh, and speak. These front teeth move rather easily. Because the bite is not being adjusted, the process typically takes about six months.

You have a busy life and you are good many things, but at Biltmore Dental Center you aren’t expected to know all about braces. Our dental professionals take plenty of time to understand your goals, concerns, lifestyle, budget, and of course your mouth, before recommending an orthodontic treatment plan that’s right for you. Call 602-704-0659 today for a consultation.