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!

29 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.


    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.

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