If you’d like to have a straighter, more attractive smile, we have good news for you: there are several different ways to achieve that, none of which involve wearing metal braces. Not that there’s anything wrong with traditional braces. In fact, those metal orthodontic devices have been used for many decades with good reason – they work! But modern dental technology also provides some other options, such as Six Month Smiles and Invisalign®, for example. Both of these methods are effective ways for people to enjoy all the benefits of a more attractive smile. That’s why we’ve compiled the following information about Six Month Smiles vs. Invisalign® — to inform dental patients from throughout the Cedar Park, Texas area about the advantages and disadvantages of both.
An Introduction to Invisalign®
The Invisalign® teeth-straightening method involves the patient wearing clear plastic aligner trays for at least 22 hours each day. The treatment begins with the dentist or orthodontist taking photographs, digital scans and/or X-rays of the patient’s teeth. That information is then sent out to an Invisalign® lab, where the custom trays are created. After that, the patient is fitted with the first set of trays, and every few weeks the patient returns to the dentist or orthodontist for a new set of trays. Over a period of several months, the aligner trays gradually move the patient’s teeth into their new, straighter positions. Invisalign® aligners must be worn at least 22 hours each day, but they can be removed by the patient when eating meals and brushing/flossing their teeth.
An Introduction to Six Month Smiles
Similar to traditional metal braces, the Six Month Smiles method involves a wire and bracket system. The process begins when the dentist or orthodontist takes X-rays and 3D impressions of the patient’s teeth. Based on that information, the dental provider will create a plan for straightening the patient’s teeth.
During the following visit, the dentist or orthodontist will bond lightweight, clear brackets to the patient’s teeth, then thread a tooth-colored arch wire through each of the brackets.
The patient will need to wear these clear braces until the teeth are completely straightened – a process that usually takes about six months. During that time, the patient will need to visit the dentist or orthodontist every couple of weeks so the braces can be adjusted to optimize their ability to straighten the teeth.
There are several reasons why Invisalign® is such a popular way to straighten teeth. Here are some of the advantages of this method:
- Clear aligner trays – Because the aligner trays are made of a durable, clear plastic, they are virtually invisible to other people.
- Removable aligners – Unlike traditional braces and Six Month Smiles, Invisalign® trays can be removed by the patient when eating meals and brushing/flossing. This makes it much easier for the patient to follow a normal daily hygiene routine, as well as enjoying whatever foods he or she would like to eat.
- Invisalign® resolves a variety of dental issues – Although most dentists and orthodontists will still recommend traditional metal braces to address severe problems, the Invisalign® method has been proven to be an effective way to resolve a wide variety of minor to moderate problems, some of which cannot be fixed with Six Month Smiles. These include overbites, underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, and crowded teeth, to name a few.
Although it’s easy to see why Invisalign® is popular, it does have some drawbacks, including the following:
- The cost – While it’s true that Invisalign® is typically less expensive than traditional metal braces, this method costs more than Six Month Smiles.
- The time required to complete treatment – Although the time it takes for Invisalign® to work will vary depending on the needs of the patient, this method typically takes about a year to complete – twice as long as Six Month Smiles.
Six Month Smiles Advantages
This relatively new teeth-straightening method has enjoyed increase popularity recently. Here are a few reasons why:
- The length of treatment – Just as the name implies, Six Month Smiles typically produces results in just six months. That’s about half the time of Invisalign® and a fraction of the time it takes for traditional metal braces to straighten a patient’s teeth.
- The cost – Six Month Smiles is less expensive than Invisalign®, usually costing the patient as much as 20% less than the plastic aligner method.
- It’s effective for straightening front teeth – Unlike other teeth-straightening methods, Six Month Smiles targets only the patient’s front teeth, which makes it an excellent choice for people who want to focus on improving the appearance of their smiles.
Six Month Smiles Disadvantages
Of course, there are two sides to every story. While Six Month Smiles works great for some patients, it may not be the right choice for everyone. Here’s why:
- It only works on minor dental issues, and only for the front teeth – If you have more moderate to severe problems, your dentist or orthodontist will probably recommend another treatment, such as Invisalign® or traditional metal braces.
- Six Month Smiles are not exactly invisible – Although they’re much less obvious than metal braces, these clear brackets with tooth-colored arch wires are more visible than clear plastic aligners.
- They have some of the same limitations as metal braces – Because Six Month Smiles are so similar to traditional braces, they have some of the same limitations. So eating some foods and brushing/flossing as usual can be challenging.
Whatever treatment method you choose, there’s no doubt that everyone can benefit from a more beautiful smile! And for many people, the first step toward a more attractive smile is to find the right teeth-straightening method. To learn more about Six Month Smiles vs. Invisalign®, and to determine which choice is the right one for you, contact your Cedar Park, Texas dentist today and schedule an appointment. Whether you choose Six Month Smiles or Invisalign®, you could be enjoying a straighter more beautiful smile in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional metal braces, so call your dentist today!