Patient choice is important but first choices may not always be the most appropriate.
Let’s be honest, the Internet is great. At the press of a few keys we can find out about the smallest town in the remotest part part of the world that once would have taken weeks or months to research. Overall, this is great, but this instant information does not mean that professional advice can be ignored altogether.
Occasionally, we meet a patient who has spent some time researching ways of improving their teeth and then books an appointment at our Surbiton practice, armed with instructions of what they want us to do. Whilst we are always happy to help our patients to achieve their aims, a little investigation may indicate that their well researched path is not actually the most appropriate for them.
Let us take, for an example, a case where a patient came to us wanting to have their teeth straightened. Their research led them to choose the popular Invisalign system to straighten their teeth, based on the many benefits of this system, including comfort, discretion and also that they can be removed when eating, thereby offering a high level of convenience.
Invisalign would be an excellent first choice orthodontic for many reasons; however, in this particular patient’s case, their teeth were largely aligned correctly and the main “problem” was with some minor crookedness in their front teeth. Therefore, there was more concern about appearance than with any functionality problem.
Whilst Invisalign could be used to correct this problem, the method may not necessarily be the only choice. Invisalign can be used for minor and more complex issues but can take longer to work than some brace systems. So it is sensible to consider other solutions for this type of problem which can potentially produce faster results.
Six Month Smiles
Although this particular patient had their heart set on using Invisalign; after a consultation with a cosmetic dentist at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, they also agreed to also look at other options. We felt that, in this particular case, the most suitable method would be the Six Month Smile, or ‘6MS’, system.
Whilst this system does use wires and brackets, something the patient hoped to avoid, the materials used are both very fine and in a tooth coloured material, rendering them almost invisible. Because these braces are focussed on the visible front teeth only, they can work much faster than other systems. Indeed, in this particular case, we believed that the teeth could be straightened in approximately four months.
Although there was still a little reluctance, the patient agreed to use this system, and, on having the Six Month Smile braces removed just a few months later, told us just how pleased they were, particularly at how fast the treatment had worked.
We are always happy to discuss any aspect of dental care with our patients, including what you may have seen on the Internet. Please remember though, that we have many years of training and experience and any advice given is solely for the patient’s benefit. So we will always advise about the treatment we feel is just right for you.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your oral health care with us, please call the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton on 020 8399 1291.