A reader wrote me this question in response to a post on how to choose an orthodontist:

My question is, how are you liking your Damon? Only the last ortho [that I’ve consulted] recommended the Damon Mx for me. I’m not sure if that’s because of pricing or quality. When it comes to speed and less work, I’m always a little skeptical so any insights you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Well, overall, I’ve been happy with the Damon braces. Of course, this is a totally subjective analysis, because I have no way of knowing what the treatment would be like if I had different brackets–so I don’t know what the relative discomfort would be–, and I’m not done yet, so I don’t know how quickly it’s going.

However, I do have these reference points:

  • I had braces about 27 years ago, and experienced the metal ties (ligatures) that were “cranked” tight. VERY uncomfortable. The experience with the Damon brackets is not like this because they are self-ligating (the sliding doors) and because of the technology, they do the work for you. Which means you don’t have that many appointments, which also means fewer opportunities for adjustments (new wire, for example) which is when you experience the greatest pain.
  • The treatment time I was given for the Damon braces was the shortest of any of the consultations I got. Most said 1.5 years; my doctor told me one year. Again, I won’t until it’s over.
  • I can see the movement! Check out my latest before/now photos in my month 7 report. This really means nothing because any braces should be working, but it is gratifying to see the progress.

Regarding pricing, I’m not sure if Damon braces are more or less expensive, because as with you, only one doctor–the one I chose–talked me specifically about the bracket type.  My doctor also gave me the lowest price.

Finally, I’m no mechanical engineer or material scientist, but I like what I understand about how the Damon braces work.  The archwire is heat-activated, so the warmer it gets (with your body temperature), the more exerts its straightening property, which is what pushes your teeth.  Because the archwire is sitting in the sliding door brackets, it’s “floating” and free to move as your teeth move.  So what happens is as your straighten out, the wire straightens and seems to get longer.  It then pokes your mouth…but that’s easily addressed, and a good sign that the teeth are moving.

If you have ligating braces, the archwire is tied to the bracket, so the wire gets stuck, and can’t straighten and lengthen.  I think this is why ligating braces can take longer–you need more doctor intervention to keep adjusting the archwire –and more discomfort, because the archwire has friction with the brackets.

(PLEASE, if I’ve got this wrong, someone set me straight!)

Finally, I really think that every person needs to find the right solution for him/herself.  For the reader who asked the question, I might suggest going to get one more consultation where you ask specifically about Damon brackets.  And also, why not call back the other doctors that you already saw, and check with them about Damon or their opinion of them?