1. What is Damon Braces? Damon is a type of braces system known as self-ligating or tie-less that specializes in dental expansion. Self-ligating or tie-less means that the wires get held into the part of the braces glued onto the tooth (called brackets) without using any elastic or rubber ties. The bracket has a little door like hinge on it that is closed after the wire is placed into the bracket.
These have advantages and disadvantages associated with them. Some advantages are that there is less friction when moving the teeth so teeth can move quicker and be fixed in a shorter amount of time. The disadvantage is that kids cannot have colors (which is their favorite part) on their braces. We are straightening children’s teeth younger and earlier in life today with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommending consultations at the latest age 7. The best compliant patients are the ones you win over and keep interested. Children like to have colors on their teeth which are the elastic ties. These colored elastic ties get changed at their orthodontic check-up visits and kids are excited about what colors to choose like red, white & blue for Memorial Day, 4th of July & Labor Day to favorite sports or school colors and even orange & black for Halloween.
Either way, placing colors on some self-ligating systems not only defeats the benefits of having a tie-less system, but some do not even have the option of having colors. It’s more difficult to have “decorative” braces with a self-ligating or tie-less system.
This wouldn’t apply with teens or adults since most are beyond the decorative braces stage and it would be irrelevant.
When the Damon System started, there wasn’t much competition with self-ligating braces. Today, several self-ligating systems are produced by all of the larger companies and several smaller ones, too.
2. Who is the right person for them? Any one after puberty, not wanting pink or teal colors on their teeth and who don’t want a removable braces system like Invisalign coming in and out of their mouth. I have personally found that teenagers and adults in my practice would rather choose a clear braces system like Invisalign, when given the option.
3. What is the cost range? I have seen the pendulum swing today for the cost of braces be based on the amount of time a patient is in treatment versus the type of system they choose. Someone in treatment for 6 months pays less than someone in treatment for 24 months, inconsequential to the type of system they choose, Damon, Invisalign or SimpliClear. Here in the New York area I have seen them as low as $3000 for 2 1/2 months of treatment with Invisalign Express 5 (explained later) and as high as $12,000 for orthodontic surgical cases. On average I would say $6500 for a one year adult orthodontic case.
4. How do damon braces compare to similar types in the field? They are very similar to several other self-ligating or tie-less systems. What Damon does exceptionally well is teach, train and follow-up with their doctors and their techniques to perfect their self-ligating system and wires for the optimal results.
5. What are the advantages/disadvantages? see above
1. What is the range of cost for Invisalign – what factors determine the price? see above
2. Are there different types of service offered for Invisalign (express)? yes. There are two different types of Invisalign Express products. One is called Express 5 and the other one is called Express 10. These are for very minor orthodontic crowding cases. The number refers to the number of trays or aligners a patient gets. Each tray moves teeth 0.2mm. Express 5 means it can be used for any patient requiring 1mm or less of movement. (5 trays x 0.2mm = 1mm) Express 10 means it can be used for any patient requiring twice that or 2mm or less of movement. (0.2×10=2mm) They are usually reserved for patients who are doing orthodontic treatment in conjunction with cosmetic dentistry procedures. For example, if a cosmetic dentist or prosthodontist wants to move a front tooth over 1mm because his veneer or laminate would look better or more symmetrical (without having one front tooth look 9mm while the other is 11mm), than he would choose Express 5 so that he could one front tooth over 1mm and both teeth could be 11mm in width.
Studies show that in the U.S. & Canada, the average adult orthodontic treatment is 11-12 months. Teeth move an average of 0.5mm per month which means the average adult patient has 5.5 – 6mm of tooth movement.
(In 10 years of practice, I have found that to be the case in my office, too…especially in the NYC office, where I treat mostly adult patients)
3. Who is a good and bad candidate for Invisalign? There are several orthodontic movements of teeth that are easier with Invisalign than they are with braces and several movements which are easier with braces than they are with a removable system. Expanding or rounding out a smile and intruding front teeth to show more “white” teeth in the front of someone’s smile is easier with Invisalign. Braces are easier when pulling down or extruding teeth like an impacted tooth, commonly a canine. The best treatment results are truly with the best compliant and motivated patient with any system.
4. What are the advantages/disadvantages?
The advantages of Invisalign is that they are clear, comfortable and removable…the removable part is an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is truly an advantage for the patient because they can clean, brush and floss their teeth easier. There is also no food restrictions like there are with braces since they can remove them and eat corn on the cob, ribs and even a candy apple (although that one isn’t recommended :)) The disadvantage is to the doctor if they have a patient who constantly removes their Invisalign too often because they will get less than optimal results. Orthodontists are only as good as their patients and their patient’s compliance with wearing orthodontic appliances . . .especially when they can be removed. 🙂
I think the biggest advantage is the aesthetics of it for a patient.
I think the biggest disadvantage is the quality of the results. This is effected by the experience level of the doctor. There is a greater learning curve with dictating the type of movements to the Invisalign lab since on a computer a doctor can make anything happen. The learning curve is the science behind what is estimated to happen virtually and making sure it happens clinically with the clear aligners. Sometimes the requested movement is too great to only be achieved with the aligner alone. To become an Invisalign specialist is a one day 7 hour certification course.The biggest learning is in the experience level of the number of cases completed by that practitioner for the most optimal results and creation of the best smile for a patient.
I always say, “Orthodontists are the plastic surgeons of dentistry. If you went to 5 different plastic surgeons for a rhinoplasty or nose job, you will end up with 5 different looking noses. If you went to 5 orthodontists for the correction of your teeth, you would end up with 5 different looking smiles. Orthodontics is an area of dentistry where science and art become intertwined and their is a subjectiveness that goes along with it.