Recently, I have had a couple of new patients come to me that have had “Fast Braces” and “Six Month Smiles” treatments in another office.
They accepted this “fast orthodontics” because they were promised shorter treatment times and slightly less expensive fees.
All of these patients came to me for a consultation because they were unsatisfied with the results. Many now have flared front teeth and an uneven occlusion (or bite) that felt worse following “fast orthodontic” treatment.
Short term orthodontic treatment generally focuses on only the front teeth and does not correct malocclusion or how the upper and lower arches come together. The proper fit of the teeth is one of the most important factors for good oral health.
So, if you haven’t tried “fast orthodontics” but maybe you have heard about it, let me give you the straight story on what it is and what it isn’t.
Six Month Smiles is a kind of “braces in a box” kit provided to general dentists with all of the parts included. This service is primarily only offered to general dentists who want to add orthodontic services to their practices. To prepare to be a Six Month Smiles provider, a dentist attends a two-day seminar, after which he can then submit models and begin providing treatment.
As a Board Certified Orthodontist, I have dedicated my life to creating the most beautiful and healthy smiles possible for each and every one of my patients. I always provide the highest quality treatment for my patients and strive to also minimize the treatment time. Healthy, quality orthodontic treatment generally takes between 18-24 months depending on the patient. “Fast Orthodontics” is really just short, incomplete treatments that do not address many of the primary issues of orthodontics. In some cases, just moving the front teeth can actually cause significant problems in the bite and the way the teeth fit together. The result will be uneven wear, grinding or even painful cases of TMJ or TMD.
You should also be aware that “fast orthodontics” often cost almost as much as a very complete, comprehensive, and well planned orthodontic treatment that includes bite correction. The patients who have come to me are often frustrated because they now have to pay for full orthodontic treatment (after Fast Braces) to get things right. The only situation where “fast orthodontics” might be appropriate is for retreatment, where a patient has had a very slight incidence of relapse after full orthodontic treatment and they desire small corrections in alignment or to close a small space.
If you are considering “fast orthodontics,” my best advice to you is something I have always followed: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right the first time. If there are any real ways of making your treatment shorter without compromising the quality of your results, we will do everything we can to streamline things to get you your beautiful, healthy smile as quickly as possible!