Orthodontists and orthodontic purists will certainly insist upon every tooth having to be in exactly its proper place and rotation at the close of orthodontic treatment. In the past few years, there has certainly been a movement toward a simpler orthodontic solution for those patients (mostly adults) who just want to have straighter teeth, and an improvement in occlusion, without having full-blown orthodontic treatment stretching over a 2- to 3-year period.
Traditional Orthodontics vs. Short-Term Orthodontics
When there are functional and complicated aesthetic problems, I don’t think that any dentist or specialist will argue that traditional orthodontics is what is needed/best suited to the patient’s needs.
When you have adults who have had orthodontic relapse, or who are looking for a simple solution that will not take a lot of time or cost a lot of money, should they be denied treatment simply because they do not want to have traditional orthodontic therapy that can be expensive and time consuming? Is it wrong to provide a service to patients when they want a quicker and easier aesthetic result that will fit into the parameters of treatment? Or, should we force the full orthodontic option down their throats, telling them this is really for their best interest in the long run? With solutions like Six Month Smiles®, it has always been my opinion that these techniques are here to stay. In addition, these are services that are desired by our patients so their usage will increase in the future. We should seriously consider providing the proper education to dentists so that they can learn how to properly do these cases, instead of ending up with the horror cases we occasionally see and then throwing all of these procedures to the wayside.
Dr. Louis Malcmacher is a practicing general and cosmetic dentist in Bay Village, Ohio. An evaluator for Clinician’s Reports, Dr. Malcmacher has served as a spokesman for the AGD and is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the American Dental Association. He works closely with dental manufacturers as a clinical researcher in developing new products and techniques. He is an internationally known lecturer, author, and dental consultant known for his comprehensive and entertaining style. Visit his website at commonsensedentistry.com
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