(Story Updated 9-20-2017 from June 2017 Print Issue)
By Maureen Werther
Richard L. Dennis, DMD, FAGD, of Saratoga Smiles dental practice on 176 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, began implementing a new orthodontic alignment program less than one year ago, and it is rapidly gaining in popularity.
The treatment program is an adult orthodontic aesthetic treatment that has proven effective in straightening teeth and improving overall appearance. While it shares certain similarities with traditional orthodontic procedures, it is less invasive and it uses tooth-colored wires and resin brackets.
Like traditional orthodontics, patients in the Six Month Smiles program see Dr. Dennis every few weeks to change the wires and gauges. Unlike the Invisalign treatment, which has been around for several years and takes much longer to work, Six Month Smiles is true to its name, usually taking between six to eight months.
The other notable difference between Six Month Smiles and traditional orthodontic or Invisalign treatments is cost.
“This procedure costs about half of traditional orthodontics,” said dental hygienist Rachel Lyons, who has been with the practice for nearly ten years. She added that a typical Six Month Smiles treatment program usually costs about $3,400.00.
Lyons added that Six Month Smiles is also a great program for adults who want their smiles to be straighter in time for special occasions, such as a wedding, graduation or other important milestone event.
Of course, patient compliance is an important component in ensuring the Six Month Smile program’s success. Patients must make their regular appointments and, once treatment is over, they must wear a retainer to maintain the results of the treatment.
Patients must also observe careful eating habits and avoid sticky or crunchy foods, as well as deeply pigmented foods and drinks. And patients using the Six Month Smiles program cannot use traditional flossing methods.
Lyons said that many of their patients who opt for the Six Month Smiles program are also opting to undergo tooth whitening. While tooth whitening would have to be done either before or after completion of the straightening treatment, it is another relatively uncomplicated procedure that will aesthetically enhance a person’s smile.
The in-office whitening process takes a total of about one and a half hours. Photos and impressions of the teeth are taken for comparison purposes. Then, a series of three different gel applications are used in the dentist chair. Patients are sent home with “touch-up” whitening trays to sustain the effects of the treatment.
Lyons also noted that the practice is offering the whitening program at a reduced cost through the fall.
For more information, visit www.saratogasmiles.com.