Six Month Smiles: Straight, even teeth. It’s not too late. And it doesn’t take long.


By Dr. Stephen W. Durham

We’ve been providing patients with a modern treatment for tooth alignment — to create a smooth, even smile in much less time than traditional orthodontic therapy. It makes so much sense and produces such fine results that we, and often our patients, want to share the news about it.

Dr. Stephen Durham
Dr. Stephen Durham

Using clear braces and low-force adjustments, it takes an average of just six months, rather than the typical two years, to complete treatment. Six months to a smile that literally changes lives and faces. And while it’s going on, the treatment is barely noticeable to people around you.

It’s so unexpected to get this kind of result without years of wearing traditional metal braces that it’s worthwhile to review how we got here and why it’s possible.

Millions of cases, lifetimes of experience

Our neighbors here in the Lowcountry grew up with many different views of orthodontic treatment. Baby boomers remember when only a handful of classmates “wore braces.”

As time went on, the advantages of straight teeth — not only to appearance but also to personal outlook and overall health — became so widely known that it seemed like every middle school and junior high was populated by young folks who had braces in common. One good thing about this period was that braces became more accepted among young folks, sometimes even a bit of a status symbol.

Another good result of this time was that so much experience helped dentists understand the many variables of condition and treatment that affect the experience and outcomes of orthodontia.


Miles of smiles

With that much experience, refinements eventually took shape.  “Clear” braces now make it much harder for others to see that your treatment is in progress. Focusing on the visible teeth helps hasten completion. Special custom treatment “trays” help make appointments quick and comfortable.  And the whole course of treatment typically costs less than traditional braces, aligner therapy or veneers.

So, thanks to this treatment option, we have brought a smile to many faces here in the Lowcountry.  A new smile.

A recipient of the 2012 Mastership Award from the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Stephen Durham, DMD, MAGD, is a graduate of Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine. He is a past recipient of the LVI Fellowship Award for Neuromuscular and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Durham practices at Durham Dental at Town Center in Beaufort. For more information, visit his website at www.DrStephenDurham.com or call 843-379-5400.

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