Dr. Greg Jorgensen
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1401 Barbara Loop SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

The Jorgensen Orthodontics Blog

Do Damon Braces Really Move Teeth Faster?

Posted by Dr. Jorgensen on January 9th, 2012

DamonQWe all want everything faster. You may have heard that Damon braces can straighten your teeth faster, with fewer appointments, and without extractions or expanders. What is the Damon System and is it better than regular braces?

First of all, I need to make a disclosure. I use Damon brackets and I love them. They are currently in their fourth revision and I’ve been a fan ever since they came out in the early 90’s. Having said that, there are myths about what they can and can’t do, and I’d like to share my opinion based upon 20 years of experience.

Damon brackets are a type of bracket known as self-ligating. To “ligate” means to bind or tie. With conventional braces, the wires are held in place by ligatures or o-rings that secure them to the brackets (which are the metal pieces attached to the teeth). With self-ligating braces, part of the bracket itself holds the wire in place without the need for o-rings or steel ties. Some brackets have doors or “slides.” Others have clips. The Damon bracket was not the first self-ligating bracket, but I believe it is the best.

Some of the claims about Damon brackets are that they won’t cause pain as they move your teeth, you won’t need to have an expander or have permanent teeth removed, you won’t need headgear or rubber bands to fix your overbite, and that your treatment will be much shorter than with regular braces. Here’s what I have seen at Jorgensen Orthodontics (and what has been supported by actual research):

If your teeth are being moved (Damon, Invisalign, or anything else), they are going to get sore. In order for orthodontic movement to take place, there must be pressure applied by a wire, elastic, or some other source. Pressure creates inflammation in the tissues around the teeth and that’s what makes you sore. If your teeth aren’t getting sore, they aren’t moving.

Whether or not you need an expander, extractions, or other auxiliary (rubber bands, springs, etc.) is determined by your individual teeth, jaws, bite, and profile, not by which bracket your orthodontist buys. Braces are just a tool. Your teeth don’t know if your braces were made by Damon, GAC, American, or Unitek. They only recognize force and move when it is applied. The company that makes Damon does not have a special agreement with your teeth so that their braces will straighten your teeth any faster. Even though there is less friction with self-ligating brackets and you can go a few extra weeks between adjustments, research has not shown that this reduces your overall treatment time.

So why do I and so many other orthodontists use and love the Damon System? First, I love the look of the bracket. It is small, smooth, and comfortable. Second, I love that it provides consistent results no matter which of my staff members performs your adjustment. Whether my newest assistant or I myself put in your wire, if the slide on the Damon bracket is closed, both of us will achieve exactly the same movement. Third, I love that the amount of time it takes to change a wire in my clinic is faster and easier because of the self-ligating nature of the bracket. Fourth, I like that I can add and take away elastic hooks at any time during treatment which makes you more comfortable and makes it easier for you to brush and take care of your teeth. Fifth, I like that we can eliminate a few appointments during your treatment because the wires can continue moving teeth for a few extra weeks between visits. Sixth, compared to other self-ligating brackets, I just like the way the slide works, how easy it is to open, and how it doesn’t close on its own while I’m adjusting your wires.

So there you have it. Although I don’t believe that Damon braces are magical, my staff and I love them and use them on all our patients. I think the system is well thought out and does save clinic time and office visits for my patients and their families. If you’d like to know more about Damon braces and if they’re right for you, come see me or drop me a note. I think you’ll be impressed!

69 comments so far in response to “Do Damon Braces Really Move Teeth Faster?”

  1. single tooth says:

    This is the perfect website for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you
    (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that has been discussed for many years.
    Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  2. Agustin says:


    I would like to know your opinion regarding Damon Clear. Is it true they can be used in any case, or it depends?
    I have heard the normal braces have something called “variable torque”, but that cannot be achieved with the “Clear” ones.

    Thanks in advance.

    • This is all marketing. Any good orthodontist can straighten teeth with any type of bracket (silver, gold, clear, etc.). If the bracket you want doesn’t have the exact torque you need, a trained orthodontist can adjust the wire to compensate. Choose your orthodontist by his skills, not what bracket he used.

  3. Sheila says:

    How long does it take for regular braces to move teeth?

    • The term “regular” implies that there are other braces that move teeth faster. Your teeth will move just as fast no matter which company manufactures the braces. The ligaments and bone around the teeth don’t know if the force is coming from a self-ligating bracket or a regular one. There has never been any scientific research that showed any bracket system can move teeth faster than any other. Any claims to the contrary are just clever, albeit misleading marketing. As for your original question, there is no way to answer such a general question without knowing what is being fixed. Braces in my office usually take from 6 to 30 months depending on the severity of the problem.

  4. Nicholas Miller says:

    Hello, I am so happy I found this site. My son recently got braces and the orthodontist there recommended he get Damon braces. However when they were putting them on, they accidentally applied the traditional Alexander braces. I was wondering whether it would be worth it to remove the braces and replace them with the originally recommended Damon braces. The orthodontist there told us we should not worry and he can make the traditional braces work, after the incident. Thanks!

  5. Anthony says:

    Hi, I respect your professional opinion concerning the Damon system but it seems you don’t give the praise to the system that it deserves. I recently had the Damon braces put on to fix my Brody bite on the right side. I’ve been to a couple of other reputable orthodontic offices and some recommended extensive expansions or even jaw surgery to correct. Also giving me a time line over 2yrs to complete. The Damon system is allowing me to have the results between 18-24m months and no surgery! So how can the Damon brackets even be in the same category as “regular” braces when they can achieve so much more in a faster time period? The “scientific proof” you said that didn’t exist is clearly shown by the many people that have already had the Damon braces and the amazing results that was accomplished. I certainly don’t think they are magical either but saying that they are the same as traditional braces is a little of a understatement. Thanks for your time and opinion.

    • Damon braces are just braces. I have used them for 8 years. I can do anything with an American bracket, a Unitek bracket, a GAC bracket, etc. that I can do with a Damon bracket. A Damon bracket is just a metal tube that holds the wire against the tooth. I’m glad you’ve have a great result with your treatment, but I assure you that your orthodontist could have done the exact same treatment with any other bracket. There are reasons why I love the Damon bracket, but they cannot move teeth any differently.

  6. Alkhnsa barood says:

    Do you think it’s braces has different force rather than the original one how y can atchive faster result ?

    • Actually Alkhnsa, the point of this article is to say that all braces move the teeth the same speed. No bracket has any special agreement with your biology to move the teeth any faster.

  7. Heather says:

    Thank you for taking the time to put up and maintain this blog. I have read all of the posts and appreciate your candor.
    We live in a small community that is known by the surrounding medical community as having lesser quality medical care available to us here. I have struggled to find answers and providers that instill confidence. My 18 year old son would really prefer the Damon brackets, believing they are less visible, less painful, and chew up the mouth less than traditional brackets with the poky parts the elastics attach to. I am concerned about the arch widening/flattening that Damon boasts about. I like my son’s face just as it is and do not want his face altered. I also wonder if altering the palate effects speech. The only orthodontist here that uses Damon brackets can’t tell me how big of an expansion/flattening would happen in my son, but just says he will have a wider smile. From reading your blog, it sounds like this ortho should be able to tell me his treatment plan and the result it will have, regardless of what type of brackets we choose. Is that correct? The other ortho in our town treated my other son (with traditional brackets). He ended up with an extremely narrow arch which I have been displeased about, as he is a 6’5″, 250 pound man with a teeny, tiny arch. He would have looked better had his palate been widened. I hesitate to take my younger son to this orthodontist as I don’t want his palate narrowed. As a parent, how do I know who to choose? You repeatedly say to choose the provider, not by bracket system used. What do we look for specifically?
    My last concern is regarding Acceledent. Are you familiar with it? Is it truly effective at reducing treatment time? Are there negative side effects of increasing the speed of tooth movement? Can any ortho use it, or is there training required?
    Again, I thank you for your time and candor.

    • I am impressed that you have read and understand the information I have provided. Bravo! I stand by my recommendation that you need to choose the doctor and not the braces he uses. If you were unhappy with the results produced by the first doctor, don’t go back. Do not believe that just because the other doctor is using Damon braces that his results will be superior. Your other son may have looked better with expansion, but that may or may not have been an option. As for Acceledent, I’ve heard good things from friends that use it with their patients. I just don’t think that my patients will pay $1000 to $1500 more for finishing a little faster.

  8. RCB says:

    Appreciate your candor here, as I feel like much of what I am reading about online involves a lot of slick marketing. My 8 year old son has seen two orthodontists — one who recommends a rapid palate expander, the other who says the expansion can be achieved through the Damon system. Cost differential is significant. Why can’t regular braces achieve the expansion too? Seems like this all just boils down to comfort of my son (which, frankly doesn’t rate that high as a consideration because I think it’s all tolerable). Does the Damon system really widen the jaw in a softer way?

    • Damon brackets are just brackets. They are no more gentle or “softer.” The force used is provided by the wires, not the bracket. The real difference here is whether your daughter needs an expander or whether her expansion could be done with wires alone. The brackets really don’t matter at all.

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