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Short-Term Orthodontics

Straighter Smiles with Short-Term Orthodontics in San Antonio

Happy young red-haired woman in braces smiling on white backgroundCrooked and crowded teeth are often enough for most individuals to seek orthodontic treatment. At Highland Hills Dental Center, Dr. Samuel Escarsega and Dr. Terri Ashby offer short-term orthodontics with an aesthetic approach. We provide convenient options for straightening your smile quickly and discreetly. Our dentists use advanced imaging to create strategic treatment plans based on your desired results and show you how your future smile will look.

We can treat minor to moderate alignment issues with our comprehensive orthodontic solutions. Whether you value comfort, affordability, or shorter treatment times, the options we provide are designed to help you achieve a healthier, straighter, and more beautiful smile with ease.

We proudly serve the needs of individuals and their families across San Antonio and Bexar County. Contact Highland Hills Dental Center to get started today!


What is Short-Term Orthodontics?

Short-term orthodontics, also known as STO, has the goal of aligning smiles, similar to traditional options. However, accelerated treatments focus on improving dental appeal by straightening the most visible teeth in the smile. These treatments usually consist of ceramic braces, tooth-colored brackets and wires, and clear aligners. Those who qualify for short-term orthodontics typically have good bite and jaw alignment but wish to achieve straighter teeth that are more visually appealing.

What Short-Term Orthodontic Treatments Do You Provide?

At Highlands Dental Center, we proudly provide the following orthodontic systems for beautiful and accelerated results for responsible teens and adults:

Sixth-Month Smiles® - Traditional braces use metal brackets and wires. This system, however, consists of tooth-colored ceramic materials that blend effortlessly with natural tooth enamel. Treatment is designed to provide you with a more symmetrical smile in just six months.

The Powerprox Six Month Braces® Technique – This system uses an advanced type of wire with shape memory. Powerprox braces combine the latest in dental technology with time tested orthodontic techniques to straighten your smile quickly and safely.

Clear Aligners– This orthodontic treatment is a popular and reliable alternative to traditional braces that do not use brackets or wires. Instead, they consist of clear plastic trays designed to comfortably fit your smile as you straighten your teeth.

Why Is Orthodontic Treatment Important?

hand holding clear alignersOrthodontic care is important for many reasons. Straighter teeth can improve aesthetics and contribute towards better oral health, speech, digestion, and enhanced quality of life. Orthodontics can also help to improve facial features once affected by crooked teeth.

Addressing misaligned and crowded teeth also make caring for your smile easier. Crowded and crooked teeth create tight spaces that are more difficult to clean and floss. Plaque, bacteria, and food debris accumulate more frequently, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

A slightly crooked bite can impact chewing, which can lead to abnormal wear on the jaw and teeth. Teeth that are aligned and meet properly help reduce jaw pain as well as the discomforts typically caused by an uneven bite. Straighter smiles also often mean enhanced confidence as oral health and dental appeal improve.

Accelerated Orthodontics for Adults & Teens

Many adults think they’re too old for orthodontics. With our cosmetically focused options, you can enjoy achieving a straighter smile without the concern of noticeable treatment. As long as you’re in good oral and overall health, you can align your smile quickly and safely with our team's help.

african american woman wearing bracesTeens are the most common age group in need of orthodontic care. However, most are unwilling to compromise their appearance. Dr. Escarsega and Dr. Terri Ashby are happy to offer reliable options that won’t interfere with your teen’s look or confidence. Our ceramic and clear braces can be easily tailored to adolescent smiles and are designed to produce appealing results. If your teen can comply with treatment guidelines, we can provide them with several options for a healthier and more symmetrical smile.

What Issues Can Accelerated Orthodontics Fix?

While short-term orthodontic treatments focus on improving smile aesthetics, they also work to correct various forms of misalignment. As long as your orthodontic issues aren’t severe enough to affect the back molars, our accelerated options can provide comparable results to traditional treatments. In most cases, we can address the following issues:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Mild rotations
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites

Six Month Smiles: Straighter Teeth in Just Six Months

Sixth Month Smiles provides the reliability of metal braces without the noticeable brackets or wires. It’s an aesthetically focused system that straightens the most visible teeth in your smile in as little as six months. By using clear brackets and wires, these braces are virtually unnoticeable. Six Month Smiles is an ideal option for adults and teens who want to address minor to more complex orthodontic issues quickly.

How Does the Powerprox Six Month Braces® Technique Work?

young asian man with bracesThis advanced treatment technique involves repositioning your teeth in the most cosmetically pleasing way possible. Rather than taking up to two or three years to correcting orthodontic issues, the Powerprox braces system is designed to do so in about six months.

Powerprox Six-Month Braces use Ni-Ti wires with shape memory. These wires work by applying gentle and continuous force to return to their original shape. This gentle pressure straightens your teeth into their ideal positions. Because this force is mild, you’ll feel less of the discomfort that typically comes when aligning teeth.

Clear Aligners: An Invisible Way to Straighten Your Smile

woman putting on invisalign clear bracesAt Highland Hills Dental Center, we proudly provide clear aligners for an affordable alternative to other clear brace systms. Our aligners systems use virtually invisible plastic trays to straighten your smile discreetly and comfortably. We carefully design your aligners using advanced digital imaging to make sure they fit perfectly. As your teeth become straighter, your trays are replaced every two weeks.

Your clear aligners are also removable and must be worn for up to 22 hours a day. This helps to produce optimal treatment results while also helping you avoid orthodontic relapse. Because of their removable design, your trays require no changes to your diet, lifestyle, or oral hygiene routine during treatment.

5 Short-Term Orthodontics FAQs to Help Answer Your Questions!

1. Does Short-Term Orthodontics Hurt More?

Not at all! Individuals often wonder if this accelerated treatment is more aggressive in the pressure applied to teeth. The opposite is true! Our aligner trays are designed for comfort and use gentle pinpointed pressure to straighten teeth. Aesthetic wires are made with lighter materials, which allow for less force when straightening without compromising effectiveness.

Absolutely not! Although STO options produce accelerated results, they are crafted using advanced technology to ensure treatment is safe and effective. Clear aligners could sometimes help protect teeth from grinding and excessive wear. Cosmetic wires consist of memory technology, allowing the archwires to form to your teeth comfortably.

Some treatments, like ceramic braces, may require you to make some changes to your lifestyle. When wearing your aesthetics braces, these changes are relatively minor. They mostly involve avoiding sticky and sugary foods. This can benefit your oral health because these foods often contribute to increased chances of tooth decay. You’ll also need to make sure you keep up with a thorough oral hygiene routine.

Your chosen treatment should reflect your orthodontic situation and goals. Before recommending anything, our dentists take their time to understand your needs, concerns, and aspirations fully. After conducting a thorough consultation and exam, they’ll work with you to create a treatment plan that best aligns with your desires.

Yes. As with any orthodontic treatment, wearing a retainer is necessary to help your teeth maintain their new position. There are a variety of options that you can choose from according to your personal preference and situation.

Straighten Your Smile Quickly & Effectively Today!

Few things come close to the improved confidence and appeal you can experience with aligned teeth. Dr. Samuel Escarsega, Dr. Terri Ashby, and the Highland Hills Dental Center team help you achieve a straighter, healthier smile you deserve with short-term orthodontics. To schedule your consultation, call our office today!


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