Your appearance can make a huge difference in your confidence during the day, and a healthy smile is one of the first things people notice. If you have crooked teeth, a bad bite or other dental challenges, it can even be difficult for you to find the success you want as a professional. And for your kids, the discomfort of traditional braces can add to an already stressful school experience. Othodontic options can present tough decisions without the right information, and alternative treatments exist like Damon braces.
What Are Damon Braces?
Damon braces are self-ligating appliances that are fitted in the same way as traditional metal braces. But instead of having brackets that tighten and adjust the braces regularly, Damon braces use a slide mechanism that attaches wires to brackets to move naturally with the teeth as they realign. This makes them more comfortable, better looking and able to provide strong results in a shorter time.
These braces use a different method for moving teeth into the right position. The braces are attached to memory wire that connects slide brackets without the pressure that traditional elastics often produce. They are then set to move your teeth gradually, tightening over time. The process uses less force than traditional braces, which often require supplemental treatment through tooth extractions and palatal expanders.
Damon braces have a number of benefits over traditional braces. These include:
- Appearance. Their clear brackets make them more aesthetically pleasing because they are virtually invisible.
- Faster treatment time. A comparative study showed patients finished their treatment 7.2 months earlier than those with traditional braces.
- Less in-office maintenance. The study showed patients needed nearly half as many appointments to have the appliances adjusted manually.
- Less pressure on the teeth, resulting in less pain. Patients reported 60 percent less discomfort with Damon braces.
- Less friction, which avoids erosion and deterioration of the teeth.
- Fewer places for plaque and bacteria to accumulate on the braces. A product such as Colgate® Phos-Flur® Anti-Cavity Fluoride Rinse is effective in preventing white spot lesions (the start of a cavity) during treatment.
Clinical studies have found that Damon braces are more effective at correcting severe crowding, are more comfortable and have a lower relapse rate, according to Apple Orthodontix.
Damon braces can cost anywhere from $3,800 to $8,000, depending on the degree of correction you need. Most dental insurance plans and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) can be allocated to treatment with Damon braces. You can also look for an orthodontist who offers a payment plan for the treatment.
Damon braces aren't all perfect. Unfortunately, they also:
- Have metal wires that are visible to others, so you can't escape the metal-mouth look entirely. However, you can opt for Damon Clear to avoid the metal brackets and minimize the visibility of the braces even further.
- Are irritating to wear for the first few days until you get used to them, according to the Friendly Dental group.
- Cost more than traditional braces, though different practices have different rates depending on location, according to Spielberg Orthodontics.
Other clear aligners such as Invisalign® also offer the opportunity to straighten teeth without wearing traditional metal braces. Not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign, however, which is most effectively used when you only need mild correction.
So what are damon braces? An orthodontic option for those looking for an alternative to traditional braces. But remember, only accredited orthodontic professionals can fit Damon braces, so be sure to do your homework before pursuing your new smile.