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Damon Braces

Updated on June 23, 2022
Khushbu Gopalakrishnan Headshot
Written by Maxine Lipner
Medically Reviewed by Khushbu Gopalakrishnan

What are Damon Braces?

Damon braces offer a unique approach to straightening teeth. They use unique brackets that may be less noticeable and less painful than conventional braces. The wire clips into the bracket instead of needing to be attached by rubber bands. 

How Do Damon Braces Work?

Damon braces straighten teeth by using a self-ligating system. Self-ligating means to “tie by itself.” With this system, an orthodontist secures the metal wire to a bracket with a built-in mechanism to hold the wire in place. This wire applies a force to the teeth to gradually move them.

The wire goes in a slot in the bracket. A portion of the bracket, known as the door, then closes over the wire, gently holding it in place. The wire can still move from side to side. 

These self-ligating braces are designed with a sliding mechanism. This allows the wire to move freely as it adjusts the teeth. It prevents it from rubbing up against the elastic ties typically associated with conventional braces.1

Damon Braces vs. Traditional Braces 

The main difference between Damon braces and traditional braces is how each works to straighten teeth.

Unlike Damon braces, which use the self-ligating method, traditional braces use brackets that require elastics to hold the wires in place. This exerts pressure that shifts the bite.

Damon braces don’t have elastic ties, unlike with traditional braces. These elastics are often colored, making them more noticeable than Damon braces. They also make teeth cleaning more difficult.

Mechanics

Damon braces are considered a low-friction treatment. The wire is clipped right into the bracket and kept in alignment by the bracket. 

Even after the orthodontist has shut the bracket door, the wire can still slide side to side through the bracket, unhindered by the rubber bands needed for traditional braces. 

In doing so, it pulls on the teeth, causing them to move. The system uses a memory wire that tries to return to its initial shape and exerts pressure on the teeth.4 

Damon braces allow the wire to slide freely through the bracket instead of being held tightly against the teeth. A lighter force is needed to move the teeth effectively.5

Treatable Cases 

Whether or not the Damon system will work for you depends on your correction needs. Just like conventional braces, Damon braces can effectively treat:

  • Overbite 
  • Underbite
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked, uneven teeth
  • Gaps in teeth

Consult an orthodontist to determine if this is the best approach for your particular case. They will help you develop an appropriate treatment plan.6

Comfort and Adjustments

Some people believe that because Damon braces use light forces to move teeth, they are more comfortable. 

Pain, however, is subjective, and the evidence that Damon braces hurt less is inconclusive, according to the American Association of Orthodontists Council on Scientific Affairs (COSA). While some evidence shows self-ligating braces are less painful for some people, other evidence shows they don’t make a difference, and in some cases, hurt more.7

However, making adjustments with Damon braces is usually easier because the orthodontist can just clip a new wire into place. But people may experience malfunctioning doors, which can be painful and inconvenient.

When the process goes smoothly, however, appointment times can be shorter. On average, it takes about 40 seconds less to open brackets than it does to remove elastics.

Treatment Times

Treatment times for braces vary by person. The required amount of bite correction is the main determining factor. 

Typically, treatment time with traditional braces lasts about 18 months, while the Damon system requires about 12 months.8

Costs

The cost of Damon braces will depend on your unique treatment needs. Depending on your bite issues, Damon braces typically cost between $2,000 and $7,000.1

Pros and Cons of Damon Braces

Like any orthodontic system, Damon braces have both positives and negatives, including:

Pros

  • Less office visits with longer intervals between visits
  • Fewer adjustments
  • Easier to maintain oral hygiene than with conventional braces
  • Faster treatment time in some cases2 

Cons

  • Bracket design may result in less precise movement
  • Bracket doors may break or get stuck and slow down treatment until the orthodontist can replace or repair them
  • The smaller brackets used may not be as effective for larger teeth1 

Are Damon Braces Right For You? 

Determining if Damon braces are right for you must involve an orthodontic consultation. With an orthodontist’s help, you can better understand how Damon braces differ from conventional ones. 

Even though Damon braces cost about the same as traditional braces, always ask your provider about specific costs. They will also determine if you are a suitable candidate for Damon braces.

As long as your oral health is in good shape, you will likely be considered a viable candidate. People with gum or periodontal disease, bone loss, or weak jaws may not qualify for any kind of braces.9

You can also weigh the pros and cons of each and determine if wearing self-ligating braces appeals to you. It’s important that you choose braces that will help you achieve your desired smile with input from your orthodontist.

Last updated on June 23, 2022
9 Sources Cited
Last updated on June 23, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Diamond Braces. “Self-Ligating Braces vs Metal Braces: Cost, Pros  Cons, Pictures, FAQs.”
  2. Broadway Family Dental. “Damon Braces.
  3. Amborn Orthodontics. “Why Damon Braces?
  4. Wright N, Modarai F, DiBiase AT, Cobourne M. “Do you do Damon? What is the current evidence base underlying the philosophy of this appliance system?
  5. Stork Orthodontics. “Common Dental Issues That Can Be Treated Using Damon Braces.
  6. Marshall SD, Currier GF, Hatch NE, Southard TE, Suri L, Turpin DL. “Self-ligating bracket claims.”
  7. Black Orthodontics. “Damon Vs. Traditional Braces: Which is Better?
  8. Gainesville Orthodontics. “Damon Braces.
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