Six Month Smiles is a company that offers both clear braces and clear aligners, making it an intriguing option for many young adults. But an important question remains: how much does Six Month Smiles cost?
Like many other orthodontic treatments, it’s not exactly cheap. But it’s important to look beyond sticker prices because treatment costs are determined by numerous variables. We’ve outlined them all in this guide, so you don’t have to go searching. By the end, you’ll have a better idea of what you might end up paying.
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With Six Month Smiles, there’s no flat rate for treatment. The only way to get an estimate for your customized treatment plan is to consult a dentist.
According to their FAQ page, Six Month Smiles’ average cost is between $3,500 and $5,000. Of course, this isn’t set in stone, so your treatment may fall outside that range depending on the factors listed below.
5 Factors That Impact Your Treatment Cost
Your Six Month Smiles treatment cost is based on numerous factors. Each of these can have a significant influence on your final, out-of-pocket price.
1. Condition Complexity/Severity
Because of their shorter treatment time, Six Month Smiles braces and aligners are capable of treating a narrower scope of conditions than other in-office options. They’re similar to at-home aligners in that they’re most effective at treating mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing.
Even though Six Month Smiles’ timeline is shorter than other in-office options, it’s still administered by a dentist or orthodontist and requires regular office visits. This means that it uses your dentist’s time, facilities, and supplies, all of which cost money. More complicated cases require more of your dentist’s attention, so they usually cost more to treat.
2. Office Location
Certain places are simply more expensive to do business. If your dentist/orthodontist’s office is in a city or another expensive area, their rent, utilities, etc. will cost more. Ultimately, this might mean higher costs for patients.
3. Dentist Expertise
In many occupations, more experienced professionals can charge more for their services, and this can be the same for dentists. Six Month Smiles, however, is unique. They run a rewards program where dentists can earn points based on how many SMS cases their patients complete. As part of the rewards, they can receive discounts on their case fees. Some dentists may relay these savings to their patients, while others may not.
In the end, a dentist’s experience could impact your treatment cost either for better or worse, depending on the specific one.
4. Aftercare Retainers
After you complete all of your aligners, you’ll have a straight, sparkling new smile. And you’ll want to keep it that way. Teeth have a natural tendency to shift back after they’ve been moved.
To prevent this from happening, your dentist will likely recommend wearing retainers. Six Month Smiles recommends that patients wear their aftercare retainers “6 months full time, then 6 months every night and then 3–5 nights per week for the rest of their lives.”
Six Month Smiles offer two types of retainer: fixed ones (wires affixed behind your teeth), and clear ones, which look like clear aligners. Regardless of which type you choose, you should expect to pay $200–$600 — and slightly more if you need fixed retainers on both arches.
Most of the time, your Six Month Smiles will deliver the exact results you expected. Regular office visits allow your dentist to continuously evaluate your progress and make adjustments when necessary to keep you on track.
But occasionally there can be hitches in the plan. Maybe your teeth move more slowly than initially expected, or maybe your teeth just don’t look like the original treatment plan showed. In these cases, your dentist might need to issue further treatments. Clear aligner companies call these modifications “refinements” and they typically consist of extra aligners (and sometimes extra fees).
If you’re unhappy with your progress during the last two months of your Six Month Smiles treatment, and your dentist thinks refinements are necessary, the company says they’ll send a new treatment plan and aligners for free. However, you might still have extra fees if your case requires additional office visits — but that’s up to your dentist.
When you’re looking at treatments that can cost a few thousand dollars, payment plans can be comforting. These financing options break down that intimidating price tag into manageable monthly chunks. Most dentist offices provide financing options, so it’s just a matter of finding out which ones are available to you.
Some of these financing options require a credit check to qualify while others don’t. If you’re not confident in your credit score, you’ll want to seek out one that doesn’t require them. And while monthly payments are nice, they also allow interest to accrue, increasing your final cost. For this reason, it’s better to pay up front if you have the financial flexibility.
Six Month Smiles has an in-house financing option called Six Month Smiles® Everyone™, which increases accessibility for patients. Their website doesn’t provide details on interest rates or the number and amount of payments, so you’ll have to enroll and consult your dentist to find out.
When it comes to insurance, Six Month Smiles falls into the same category as traditional braces or other clear aligner systems. Many insurance providers won’t cover orthodontic work for anyone over 18, but some offer orthodontic benefits specifically for adult treatments. Look over your insurance plan and contact your provider to find out if you have (or can add) these benefits.
Even if your treatment is covered, it likely won’t be for the full amount, so you’ll still need to pay some out-of-pocket. Again, your insurance provider can give you more details about your policy’s coverage.
Alternatively, if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), your dentist’s office may accept payments from either. These tax-free funds – which may receive contributions from your employer – could be more convenient than paying out of pocket.
How Does the Cost Compare to Other Treatment Options?
Six Month Smiles is somewhat comparable to Invisalign in terms of cost. Invisalign treatment can be anywhere between $3,000 and $9,000, while Six Month Smiles costs $3,500–$5,000 for most cases. Either way, you can expect to pay a premium for the one-on-one care and expertise of your dentist.
If your condition is mild enough for Six Month Smiles, odds are you’d also be a candidate for at-home teeth alignment. Many adults today opt for this innovative treatment option because it’s so much more convenient and affordable than in-office treatment with Six Month Smiles or Invisalign. By eliminating the need for office visits, providers like SmileDirectClub and Byte have been able to offer clear aligner systems for just $1,800–$2,400. And like Six Month Smiles, the average treatment time with an at-home aligner system is just six months.
For some people, the peace of mind that they’re getting facetime with a highly skilled professional is enough to justify the higher prices of Six Month Smiles or Invisalign. We think that it’s worth the cost if you have a severe condition like a bite misalignment, or prefer traditional one-on-one dental care. But if your condition is fairly minor and you’re looking for the most affordable, convenient option available, home teeth aligners are well-worth considering.
There you have it: a complete overview of Six Month Smiles pricing factors. But more important than anything on this list is your condition, desires, and finances. How does it work with your budget? How severe is your condition? What’s your timeline look like? As you compare costs for various treatments, measure each one against your priorities and smile goals.
But don’t focus so much on price that you neglect other aspects of clear aligner treatment, like effectiveness, convenience, appearance, and customer support. Be well-rounded in your research and honest in your priorities. This way, you won’t just find the best option, you’ll find the best option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to get aligners from an orthodontist or a general dentist?
It depends on the complexity of your case. General dentists and orthodontists can handle mild-to-moderate misalignments equally well, while more complex ones require a dentofacial orthopedics specialist.
What is combination treatment?
Combination treatment is when two (or more) appliances are used in a single case. Usually, this is a combo of braces and aligners with braces on the bottom and aligners on the top. However, many other devices can supplement them, such as headgear and palatal expanders.
Why are some clear aligners faster than others?
There are a few reasons why one clear aligner company may have faster average treatment timelines than another:
- They only treat milder cases, which resolve in less time.
- Their treatment planning software allows for more fine-tuned movements.
- They use a straight cut rather than a scalloped one.
- They use attachments.
- They can put multiple attachments on a single tooth.
How many hours a day do I need to wear my clear aligners?
With most companies, 22 hours a day. Some have nighttime-only systems which let you wear your aligners for just ten continuous hours, most of them while you are sleeping.
Will my dental insurance pay for clear aligners?
If you have orthodontic coverage, they might. Some aren’t big on covering orthodontics for adults and some policies only cover in-office treatments that address medical needs. Be sure to get the full terms before signing on for treatment.
Are aligners more comfortable than braces?
Most people who have had both think so. Braces stick out from the teeth and cause irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth. Aligners are smooth and rarely cause issues except at the gum line. Usually, you can use a nail-file (or a similar tool) to smooth those edges.
Is it hard to remove clear aligners?
It takes a little practice, because if you remove them the wrong way, you can stretch the aligners out, decreasing their effectiveness. There are tools you can use to remove them, but most people just learn how to disengage them with their fingers.
How do I get started with in-office clear aligner treatment?
It depends on the company you’re considering. With in-office treatments, you go to their websites and find a provider near you. For at-home options, you order and complete an impression kit from the company, then send it back.
What happens if treatment doesn’t go as planned?
You will need to talk to your doctor or aligner company about getting refinements. These are additional aligners that tweak your final results so they better align with your expectations.