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

We 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!

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

  1. Kris' mom says:

    “November 10, 2013 at 11:30 am
    Damon braces DO NOT eliminate the need for expanders. Brackets of any kind will give you dental expansion. Expanders are designed to give you palatal (bone) expansion. Damon braces are just braces. They are not magical. I would not pay extra to avoid an expander. If you need an expander, get an expander not Damon braces.”

    I’m a pediatrician, up late researching Damon braces for my 9 yr old. She has a narrow & high palate with tongue thrust, speech issues & class 5 malocclusion. I’ve been offered the choice between traditional braces + palatal expander (“twin with quad & UHA”?) or just Damon braces–been told they will achieve same result though more comfortably with Damon. I was surprised to see your comment above, as the Damon animated videos seem to show palatal expansion. I’m fine with paying for a superior system but not if it doesn’t do the whole job! Did I misunderstand your comment? BTW, your website is fantastic and your thoughtful responses make me wish we were in your area. We’d definitely be knocking at your office door!

    • Thank you for your sincere question. The Damon videos are beautiful and really help sell their bracket. There is NO evidence that they can expand the facial structures any more than regular brackets. I stand by my statement. If your daughter needs palatal expansion (skeletal), then ask that an expander be placed. If she only needs dental expansion, any bracket will give you that. By the way, a hyrax-type expander actually stretches the mid-palatal suture. A quad-helix or w-arch appliance may only give you dental expansion and be identical to expansion with archwires. I use Damon brackets for many reasons, but I understand their limitations. Two of my three children had palatal expanders because their bones needed expansion. Good luck!

  2. Kristi Heywood says:

    My 8 year old daughter is missing her lateral incisor on the top of her month. We have gone to a few orthodontist for consultations. The options we were given are an implant or canine substitution. Also regular braces or Damon? Do you have any advice for me? I want this to be the least traumatic experience for my daughter. I enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate your honesty.

    Thanks,

    Kristi – concerned mom

    • Canine substitution would be the least traumatic, but it may not be the best option overall. This is a question that only your orthodontist can explain because of the complexity of the variables involved.

    • Mick S says:

      I’m a 32 year old male who had the canine substitution performed in my teens and regret it. The gumline of the premolar is lower than the canine and will create an unnatural smile when substituted. It also caused my arch to be narrowed because my teeth were pulled together. I’m now having ortho again to intrude the premolars to create a higher gumline and then add porcelain veneers. If I could do it all over again I would definitely go the implant route and get ceramic implants.

      • Every patient is different. It is important to remember that we not use the same treatment plan for every one who is missing their laterals. Some patients can have excellent results substituting canines for laterals while it is inappropriate for others. This is why it is important to seek treatment from a specialist who knows the difference.

  3. Lyzander Redemio says:

    I’d like to know if there is any clinic in Cebu, Philippines operating Damon Braces? if there is pls inform me of its details, thanks alot

    • Click on the following link and press the “Find a Damon Doctor” button. That is the only way that I know of to find orthodontists who use the Damon appliance. Remember that the skill of the artist is more important than the paintbrush he uses. Good luck!

  4. Roaa says:

    Thank you so much for this article and the whole blog is
    informative, easy to grasp & it was just I need to know as patient when majority of other sites offer shallow or repetitive materials or just biased !
    I’m 26, I have a severe overbite ( thats what doctor said ) + slight crowding and other problems & I’m in that ugly phase where I have to decide between Invisalign or braces ( damon system ). I’m stressed coz I wanna choose what is the best for my case and what will deliver the most satisfying outcome, especially that Invisalign will cost me more than double price of any other braces .. I consulted many orthodontists, some recommended Invisalign highly, others where totally the opposite saying Invisalign will let me down big time.
    My last consult, was from an experienced doctor Invisalign – based on there website – she said it is the best choice by far for my case depending on the fact it will move my jaws & teeth together, which will correct my bite greatly, a something braces will not do effectively like Invisalign.
    Frankly, I found this opinion interesting & different from other Invisalign enthusiast doctors who were just trying to sell me this expensive product without considering underlying problems.

    Do you agree? no ? could u please tell me why?

    I know it is difficult to give an opinion with out examining the case, but I would really appreciate it if you could help me decide.

    • I have been an Invisalign (clear aligner) provider since 1999 (15 years at the time of this writing). I do not doubt that there are doctors out there who have corrected severe overbites with clear aligners, but I have not found that system to be effective in my hands for that particular problem.Clear aligners are not attached to the teeth, but “lean” on the tooth surfaces or little attachments that are glued to them. In my hands, I do not have as much control over the results as I do with regular braces. I use clear aligners only for minor to moderate cases and never for severe cases of any kind. Severe overbites usually require moving the bottom jaw forward (surgery) or the top teeth back (usually removing upper bicuspids). Aligners are not ideal for either of these movements. Again, this is only my opinion, but I would be a little leery of any doctor who claims clear aligners are just as effective as braces for the correction of a severe overbite. I would ask to see examples of treated cases and even ask for references of patients who have had the same treatment. If the doctor cannot provide examples, I would move on. This is too important to “try it and see.”

  5. Djoko Boentaran says:

    Thanks for the blog! I find it very informative. You may want to tell the Damon Braces people to update their database. When I do “find a doctor” on their site the only one that shows up for 87111 (ours) or even your RR zip code 87124 is an orthodontist in Santa Fe. I used Google searches to figure out that you use their system.

    At any rate, my son needs braces (supposedly) and my daughter is mid treatment with Damon System (from Colorado). Do you accept transfers?
    We’ll probably want to just go to one provider – heck, I probably need braces (though I suppose I should wait to see what the $$ damage on the 2 kids 1st).

    Thanks!

    • Damon brackets are just the trade name for one companies particular braces. Their braces cost us 12x the amount that we are currently paying for the brackets we are currently using. We had a choice at the beginning of the year, keep using the most expensive bracket on the market and raise our fees by $380 per patient, or change to an equally effective bracket and keep our fees affordable for our patients. The Damon people do a good job of marketing their bracket and I actually like it, but it is no better at straightening teeth than any other bracket. I’m not willing to charge my patients almost $400 more for their marketing.

  6. layla burton says:

    Hey I have a few questions regarding damon braces? Can you open close the brackets by hand or a thin needle or can it only be achieved by a special tool? Does it actually expand your arch or is it just a myth? Does it actually move your teeth faster or is it just the fact that fewer adjustments are needed? Are powerchains used with damon braces to close gaps or is there no need for them?
    thankyou

    • Damon braces are just normal brackets with a sliding door that can be opened and closed instead of using steel ties. Orthodontists and their assistants can open and close them, patients should not. Any brackets can expand arches, not just Damon brackets. There is no scientific evidence that they move teeth faster and yes, power chains are still needed to close spaces.

  7. AJ says:

    Hello dr. I recently got the damon braces, can I still have the elastic bands? is it possible because I’d like my braces to be colourful!

  8. marlirat says:

    My 9 year old had his first two visits with a referred Orthodontist (I plan to seek a second opinion with a Dr. who uses Damon). He has a small mouth and the only issue is overcrowding. They want to place an expander on the top of which I will need to turn once a day for several weeks. Then eventually brackets on the bottom and top to make room for his growing teeth. He has teeth on the top that are pushing though and will overlap others and had a bottom tooth that grew in behind the line of existing teeth. I’ve been doing reading on the expanders vs Damon, and am having a difficult time determining what is appropriate path for his case. And if and expander is the way to go, what is the best kind for his situation. Again, they are only wanting to provide space. Thank you in advance.

    • Damon brackets are only a trade name of certain brand of braces. They are not magic. They cannot do anything that any other bracket can do. If your son needs an expander, he needs one with or without Damon brackets. If the Damon doctor says he’s not going to use an expander but he’s going to expander her arches with the Damon braces, he will only be moving the teeth and not the jaws. If your son has a small upper jaw that needs expansion, he needs an expander not an expensive bracket.

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