What is Six Month Smiles?
Six Month Smiles is (another) branded orthodontic system, like Invisalign, or CFAST, inman aligner – the list goes on! With 6 month smiles, it is basically the first stages of full orthodontic treatment.
Can any dentist offer this treatment?
Yes, general dentists do need to attend a 2 day course to be allowed to use the Six Month Smiles name, and system. In order to fit a brace, any dentist is allowed to do it, if they feel they have sufficient training. With any kind of treatment, the skill of the dentist is very important, and will affect the quality of the end result.
Is Six Month Smiles any good?
I feel Six Month Smiles is a good system, personally, I very rarely use it, I prefer to provide a better quality of brace, and use the Six Month Smile theory. This way, there is flexibility to work outside the Six Month Smile system, to provide perfect results.
In most cases, Six Month Smiles will give a dramatic improvement in overlapped teeth. If you think about it, to create space to overlap teeth, like in the following photo, then you need more space… Where will the space come from?
With Six Month Smiles, the space is almost always gained from bringing all the teeth slightly forward: and this is fine in most cases, however there are cases where this is not a good idea, for example if final position of your teeth will be resting on your lower lip, the teeth may move forward over time, due to the force of the lower lip acting on the upper front teeth.
What are the options?
Whoever provides your treatment should always give you a comprehensive options, and this should be in detail. I personally do not believe it is good enough to say:
Six month smiles will fix your teeth in about 6-9 months, the other option is to see an orthodontist, and this treatment will take 2 years
You should get a full orthodontic option in detail, if a specialist would plan your treatment differently, then there must be an advantage of that treatment option, after all, they are specialists in the field, and there is a tried and tested way of moving teeth!
If after understanding both options, you still opt for the Six Month Smiles option, then that is fine, but you should know about all the options in detail. The last thing dentists and patients want is to provide a treatment, and it does’t meet the expectations of the patient.
I think many dentists will have a problem, mainly because Six Month Smiles is sold to dentists as a way to dramatically increase their income, so dentist pay the money, go on the course, and everyone with overlapping teeth suddenly become suitable for Six Month Smiles! The reality is that Six Month Smiles will improve the alignment is nearly all cases, but many dentists will not assess the effect this has on the face as a whole, in addition, they are not suitably trained to give a comprehensive orthodontic treatment plan, so patients will need to see someone else, and have to pay for another consultation to get the comprehensive option! (In reality – who is going to do this?)