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!

NOTE: The author, Dr. Greg Jorgensen, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Rio Rancho, New Mexico (a suburb on the westside of Albuquerque). He was trained at BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Iowa in the United States. Dr. Jorgensen’s 25 years of specialty practice and 10,000 finished cases qualify him an expert in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems (including conventional braces, Damon and other self-ligating brackets, Suresmile, and lingual braces). This blog for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. Jorgensen is licensed to diagnose and treat patients only in the state of New Mexico. He cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can he select treatment plans for readers. Because he has over 25,000 readers each month, it is impossible for him respond to all questions. Please read all of the comments associated with each article as most of the questions he receives each week have been asked and answered previously. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.

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

  1. Virendra Bhad says:

    Your article is great.But I heard self ligating braces lose the precision of movement.please let me know what are orthodontic implant? are they really helpful? thanks in advance.

  2. Delilah says:

    What is the difference in cost between traditional brackets and Damon? Thank you.

    • Bracket costs are only part of the cost of the professional fee for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontist who use Damon brackets usually charge more because the brackets cost two to three times more than most other brackets.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Thankyou for this informative and candid blog. I have recently had an orthodontist (same one I used myself) say that my 14yo daughter would need 2 extractions to have braces fitted to straighten and correct some overcrowding. She had, several years ago already had an expander (which she had to adjust with a Allan key type of tool) on her top jaw-(different ortho as we lived in a different state)As I already had trust in our current orthodontist I questioned twice whether the removal was necessary and he stands by his opinion and off to the dentist we go. I am then told by the dentist that this is completely unnecessary at they will not remove her teeth and that they believe that an orthodontist that uses Damon braces is the answer.
    After hours on the internet scrolling through their slick marketing I am utterly confused. I am possibly guilty of doing almost anything to avoid extraction, I am a mother after all. Haha. So I’m thinking the best I can do is get a second opinion. But from who? Am I best to try and find an orthodontist who uses several different brace types. Ie damon and the “traditional” type?
    Appreciate any advice you have for this Aussie mum just trying to make the right decision for her daughter.

    • The decision to remove teeth has nothing to do with the brand name of the braces. It is a marketing ploy. Find the orthodontist who has the best results, who you trust, and let him choose which braces to use. If your dentist will not remove the teeth, find a new dentist. Damon braces are just braces. They are not magical.

  4. divya says:

    Helo sir, i am getting my treatment done with damon braces.i have a doubt which i am not able to ask my dentist.its almost a year and not much improvement is there.now when he changes the wire or do some changes i dont feel any pressure, like u said my teeth doesnt get sore.i dont feel any movement for a week but my dentist asks me to wait for few weeks..so my doubt is wil my teeth move if they are not getting sore or if they are not moving for a week?

    • If your doctor is just changing the wires or the colors and not making any adjustments to the wires (and you’re not getting sore after an adjustment), you may not be progressing at all. You need to have a consultation with your doctor and have him show you what has been accomplished and what remains to be done before the braces come off.

  5. Pragathy says:

    Thank you for this excellent blog and all the information. My 9 yr old daughter was told she needs partial braces for her upper arch for over crowding. was recommended to get Damon braces within next couple of months (? urgency ), suggested may be 12-18 months to correct. Then a phase II treatment later that was not talked about.
    she is too scared, is there any better way/ less painful than braces to help with overcrowding. she does have a high arched narrow palate, can she get the palatal expander instead of braces, how painful is that.
    Also what will be the consequences if she did not get any treatment now, but rather postponed till she gets a little older may be few more years.

    • Anything that moves the teeth will have a certain amount of discomfort associated with it. Braces and expanders do different things and one cannot replace the other. Although there are those who skip the first phase of a two-phase treatment, there are some advantages that may be forfeited (i.e. teeth may need to be removed, the gum tissue my be thinner or in a different position, etc.)

  6. bob says:

    Dr Jorgenson,

    I commend you for your active blog/post on the truth about braces! You are spot on! Braces are a handle on a tooth, and are limited by 2 variables, the precision of the slot, and the position of the slot on the tooth. Recent good, objective studies have shown Damon braces and other ‘self ligating’ braces distort towards the end of treatment, which is when the precision is most important for fine tuning positions of teeth! Direct marketing a brand of a medical device to patients is often misleading, and only allowed in 2 countries in the world (US and New Zealand) which is why good Science needs to be explained to patients!

    • Don’t get me wrong, Damon braces work as well as any others in my hands. They just don’t work any better. There is no magical bracket. They are just tools. The key is the magic of the “carpenter” using the tool.

  7. Paula says:

    If you had the option to choose between Traditional braces and Damon (metal bracket) braces which would you choose? Don’t know if this will effect your decision but the cost difference is $500. Thank you so much for your time

  8. andrea parsons says:

    My daughter just had these put on yesterday. They had a little green color on front she notice the green is missing on some of them. Is that suppose to happen? They look nice and she isn’t in a whole lot of pain I think it was the right choice!!

    • The colors on the brackets when they first go on are usually temporary dye to help the orthodontist and staff members know what tooth each bracket was designed for. I don’t think there is any problem.

  9. Amy says:

    I don’t suppose you could recommend a good orthodontist in the Salt Lake area :)

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