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A guide to Damon Braces
Dentists have a name for traditional braces. Train tracks. It speaks volumes for the way those braces look and feel. In the past, braces have always been viewed as a necessary evil, rather than a consumer choice. It doesn’t matter how comfortable they are; what’s important is the end result.
There is nothing wrong with that approach. After all, how your teeth look after you remove the braces is what’s important. However, as more and more adults see the advantages of cosmetic dentistry, more and more people are asking for braces that are more discreet and more comfortable to wear. Most patients wear their braces for between one and three years and people want to feel as natural as possible while they wear them.
Time for an alternative to the traditional train tracks then? Exactly. That’s why The Damon System was developed.
The Damon System sounds like something from Star Trek? Can you explain it?
Here’s the official description. Damon System braces are fast, fixed cosmetic orthodontic braces using low friction mechanics. Damon System braces use a unique slide mechanism that minimises the friction and binding associated with conventional braces.
Like I said, can you explain it?
Let’s give it a go. Traditional ‘train track’ braces are made up of two elements. Metal brackets that fit across the teeth and arch wires that hold the brackets in place. The beauty of Damon braces is that they use a different form of wire and brackets brace. It’s more advanced technology – so that’s why it can sound a little bit technical sometimes.
Ok. So what does that mean for me?
Well, nobody really likes going to the dentist do they? The low friction mechanics mean quicker treatment times and less trips to the dentist. At the same time, because The Damon System slide mechanism exerts lighter forces on your teeth, the treatment is more comfortable. So, in a nutshell, what it means for you is that you wear a more comfortable brace, for a shorter period of time – yet you still get high quality results.
Sounds good so far. Anything else?
Well, the other technical phrase that you need to know is ‘self-ligating’. It is something that your dentist might mention when talking about The Damon System or other orthodontic options. Self-ligating braces remove the need for elastic or metal "ties". Whereas conventional braces are tied with elastics, which provide the tension to gradually move the teeth, the Damon System has a slide mechanism to replace elastics. As we mentioned above, it moves teeth faster, more comfortably and more easily. It is also more hygienic, as those conventional elastics attract and collect plaque.
So The Damon System works better. How does it look?
It looks better too. Traditional braces use brackets that are made of metal – they are the tracks in your train tracks – which is fairly unsightly. In The Damon System, around two thirds of the bracket is manufactured from Ceramic material that is really tough, so it won’t stain easily or show wear and tear. The way the transparent ceramic and the stainless steel complement each other means that the Damon brace is both discrete and yet also powerful.
Right, so let’s recap….
The Damon System has a number of advantages. Improved technology. Extra comfort. Faster treatment times. Better oral hygiene. The Damon System is more discrete than traditional braces too. So if you are thinking about having some orthodontic work, but you are hesitating because of how intrusive, long-term and unsightly the procedure can be, The Damon System could be the choice for you.
Will people be able to see that I am wearing a brace?
The Damon System attaches brackets to the front of your teeth so people will be able to see that you are wearing a brace. Rather than being invisible, the key benefit of The Damon System is that it corrects your teeth faster and more comfortably. So you have to wear your brace for a shorter period of time.
Usually, making a decision about the type of treatment or product you need comes down to more than simply aesthetics. For example, most of the invisible brace products currently on the market, which attach to the back of the teeth, are more suited to milder orthodontic work. While they are not noticeable on a day-to-day basis, they don’t move the teeth as fast or with as much pressure. The Damon System, with its extra force, can also treat more complex cases such as severe overbites, underbites and crossbites.
Would I need to wear headgear with The Damon System?
Some orthodontic patients require headgear to apply extra pressure to the teeth or jaw. You can never say never, but the need for headgear is less likely with The Damon System. The revolutionary approach involved uses lighter forces that exert greater pressure than other types of braces. So it's often easier and more comfortable to improve your smile.
Will I need to have teeth extracted?
This is one area where there are some misconceptions. The Damon System is not a ‘non-extraction approach’ as some people seem to believe. In fact, many dentists will recommend The Damon System with some extractions as part of an overall orthodontic solution – the solution including braces to move teeth and extractions to improve facial symmetry. Each patient has different requirements – so be prepared to talk to your dentist and choose the right option for you.
That said, if you wish to avoid extractions, your dentist may choose to recommend The Damon System because its extra strength enables the braces to work harder. But, as the patient, it is important to realise that The Damon System is a product, not a complete approach. It should ideally be used as part of an overall treatment that suits you and has been agreed with your dentist.
How much does treatment with Damon braces cost?
The cost of teeth straightening with Damon braces is more expensive than that with conventional orthodontics, however the benefits of faster treatment times, less pain, less irritation and better oral hygiene are all reasons that may justify paying more for treatment using The Damon System. Your orthodontist should be able to advise you on the likely costs of your individual treatment following a consultation.
What is the treatment like?
Most types of traditional braces use steel or elastic ligatures to hold the arch wires in place. By removing the ligatures and therefore removing the friction, The Damon System can move teeth quickly using relatively light pressure. The wires are much less forceful than traditional brackets, so the Damon brace is much more comfortable to wear.
This means that you can see your dentist less frequently and yet you will probably see more positive tooth movement between visits. Typically, if you’re using The Damon System, you will visit your dentist 8-10 times less than if you wear traditional braces. That’s because the wires do not need to be adjusted as frequently.
How long does it take?
There is some interesting research on the official Damon System website to show how much faster treatment under The Damon System can be. They claim that patients begin to see visible improvements in 10 weeks. Overall, your treatment will be finished on average six months faster than with conventional braces.
Of course, it is worth taking these claims with a slight pinch of salt and the best assessment of how long your treatment could take will probably be made by your dentist. After all, your dentist knows you. However, The Damon System research does help to show why their product is a good option for some people.
They treated 215 patients were treated at three different sites - 108 were treated with The Damon System and 107 with conventional braces. The results showed that Damon patients were treated in an average of 6.33 months less time than those treated with conventional twin brackets. They were also treated with 7 fewer appointments and they reported greater satisfaction with their treatment.
What does it cost?
The Damon System utilises the latest technology and is designed to be an advanced, state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment. Therefore, you can expect to pay more than you would for traditional braces. For many people, that extra cost is justified by the reduced timescales and the time that they save in visits to their dentist.
Finally, I’ve read about a ‘bracelift’ somewhere. What’s that?
The Damon System doesn’t just claim to be faster and more comfortable. It also claims that many customers who use The Damon System also experience a ‘bracelift’ effect. This ‘bracelift’ is supposed to be similar to a facelift (geddit?), where people who wear the brace for a period of time begin to see a better facial balance as well as a more attractive smile. So it can help to give you a more youthful appearance overall.
There’s no doubt that The Damon System makes big claims for itself. But is truth or marketing spin – and if it is only supported by their own research, can we ever really tell. Have a look at www.damonbraces.co.uk to find out more. But at the end of the day, remember that the braces that give the best results are those that give you a healthy, natural smile. Anything else should be a bonus!
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