Metallic dental braces are increasingly becoming a relic of the past and few would be saddened by their demise, especially those who suffered from bullying during their school years due to their use. New cosmetic dental procedures are slowly coming to the fore and taking their place. These include the ever popular but expensive invisible braces and the new 6 month smiles procedure which has become very popular in the United States and is increasingly being seen in the UK and other western countries. This new system is a combination of traditional braces and new technology and materials. The old metal train tracks have been replaced by a tooth colored material and the wiring is almost invisible, making them a much improved version of dental braces that are used to straighten a person's teeth.
Although the 6 month smiles procedure is not as discreet as invisible braces, it is believed to be a significantly faster process; some claim around 25% of the time that invisible braces take, and at around half of the price this makes it a popular compromise.
At the initial consultation, impressions are taken of your teeth and approximately three weeks later, the treatment should be available to you.
Although each patient is different, it is not usual for any extra treatments such as bonding or veneers to be needed in conjunction with the six month smiles procedure.
Despite the name, the six months refers not to an exact period of time that the procedure takes to complete, but an average time. For those with only minor issues, the period may be shorter, whilst for those with very crooked and uneven teeth, it may be significantly longer. This will vary from person to person. The key factor is that they should not be removed until they have done their work correctly.
Although the treatment is not entirely effective at correcting underbites or overbites, it can be used to significantly improve these and make alignment much better, making eating and chewing more efficient.
As this is a cosmetic treatment, it is highly unlikely to be offered on the National Health Service if you live in the UK, and would only be so in extremely rare cases. This is usually done privately and can be moderately expensive. Dental insurance plans may cover this treatment so if you are considering it, you should contact your insurance company to make sure that this is the case.