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!

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.

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

  1. Germán says:

    Hello and thank you for this informative blog. I am getting my treatment done with Damon braces, and my orthodontist placed the lower brackets two weeks ago, but this is the second time in two weeks that 3 brackets have come unglued. Is that an usual issue?
    Thank you very much

    • There are several reasons why brackets come loose: shape of teeth, quality of enamel, bite interferences (teeth in opposing arch hit right on the bracket), eating inappropriate foods, and poor placement technique. There are solutions for all of these. If multiple brackets keep coming off of different teeth, it may be “operator error” during bracket placement. If brackets keep coming off of the same tooth over and over again, it is more likely a problem with the tooth or the bite. Either way, you need to discuss the problem with your orthodontist and get it under control so your treatment can move forward.

  2. Omer says:

    Hello Sir,

    I am having deep bite teeth. My orthodontist referred me Damon System to fix it. One of my lower tooth is at outer side and Doctor said she will remove it.
    My age is 34 and I heard that if we do this treatment before 20 years of age it would have been better than this age. What do you suggest to me.

    • First, you can get braces at any age. Second, the Damon System is the same as any other system. The most important thing is the skill of the doctor using the braces, not who manufactured them.

  3. MordWhite says:

    Thank you for the extremely informative blog, Dr. Jorgensen!

    I would like to ask about the ceramic brackets that are for sale on Amazon, Ebay, and Alibaba.com (though not on AliExpress, for some reason). Many of the sellers are based in China, but the brackets I purchased were shipped from the U.S. and were manufactured by a U.S. manufacturer that merged in recent years with one of the most prominent distributors of orthodontic supplies. Anyway, my orthodontist applied the brackets without incident, and I saved literally hundreds of dollars by supplying the brackets myself. The brackets cost very little. Do you have any experience with these inexpensive brackets (either those made in the U.S. or China)?

    • I do not have any experience with my patients providing their own brackets. I choose brackets because of the specific design that works with my training and experience. I would not place patient-provided brackets in my office.

  4. Louise says:

    I have just read your blog and found it very interesting. I have now had my Damon braces top and bottom for 13 months, I was told my treatment would be 15 to 18 months. I have appointments every 12 to 14 weeks and one bottom tooth still seems to have a long way to go. When they were first fitted I could see a difference within weeks and then everything slowed. Is it normal with this system to have appointments so far apart? PS I am in my 50′s and would advise anyone wanting your teeth straightened at any age not to hesitate.

    • In my opinion, the brand of braces (in your case Damon) has nothing to do with treatment time. Having said that, if I had a patient whose teeth are not moving as we had expected at the beginning of treatment, I would be more likely to see them more often to more closely monitor the treatment progress and make the necessary adjustments

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