Dr. Greg Jorgensen
(505) 891-9440
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!

63 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:

    Hi,

    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.

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