- Straighten teeth faster due to reduced friction
- More comfortable/painless treatment
- Reduce the number of tooth extractions
- Reduce the number of visits
- Reduced amount of root resorption
Here are some of the common questions we hear about these braces...
Are self-ligating or Damon braces better than traditional braces?
Do Damon Braces or Self-Ligating braces work faster?
Are Damon Braces or Self-Ligating braces pain-free?
In 2008, Miles published a paper in one of the most highly respected orthodontic journals, Angle Orthodontics, confirming Kusy’s findings in the late 90s, describing friction in conventional vs SL braces. He noted that the friction of the wire against the corners of the brace (2nd order friction for those physicists and engineers out there!) was the major factor in the speed of tooth movement rather than the force of the elastic against the wire. This property is present in every brace. He was unable to validate manufacturer’s conclusions that SL braces move teeth faster.
This year, in 2009, Fleming also published in the same journal. He wrote that “clinical trial data do not support the contention that treatment time is reduced with SL brackets”. He went on to say that, in fact, there may be a greater number of visits due to a greater number of wire changes required. Patients complained of greater discomfort at their visits from the increased pressure required to open and close SL bracket doors. Speed of tooth movement is independent on bracket type and there is no difference in the amount of root resorption. Braces themselves do not hurt, as evidenced by no pain during the time braces are being put on. It is the mobilization of teeth that causes the teeth to be sensitive, and no brace thus far, has been able to change this biological process.
Do Damon Braces or Self-Ligating braces reduce the need for extraction?
The debate of extraction versus non-extraction is extremely controversial. The bottom line is that extractions can be of benefit in certain situations. There are limits as to the amount of jaw expansion that will remain relatively stable and healthy with respect to the gum and bone structure. Various studies have shown that bone does not regenerate around the teeth, despite using Damon braces, as the company asserts. Sometimes, extractions will improve the profile, as in individuals who cannot close their lips without strain, or who have a protrusive profile. Extractions do not need to mean dished in faces. With proper orthodontic movement, the right amount of retraction of anterior teeth, and protraction of posterior teeth will yield excellent results.
So why are many orthodontists offering Damon braces and SL braces?
The amount of chair time may be reduced for the person changing your wire to flip a door closed rather than ask you what coloured elastics you would like followed by securing them to each individual brace. Also, in our ever-demanding consumer world, who wouldn’t go and see the orthodontist who claims to offer painless, faster treatment? Orthodontic suppliers are providing all of this marketing, the general public has adopted their claims, therefore driving up business. Unfortunately, the orthodontic literature shows there is no advantage, and in some cases there are disadvantages, in using SL brackets. As a profession, orthodontists must remember that we are business, but first and foremost, a health care industry based upon science.
So what's the bottom-line?
Despite the aesthetic nature of orthodontics, it is important that health care treatment be evidence-based. In other words, scientific studies should confirm any claims made. There is a significant amount of physics and biology behind the way your teeth move. At Markham Centre Orthodontics, our team strives to stay up to date on the most advance technologies in order to provide the best care possible. We have chosen not to use Damon braces or self-ligating braces since most modern day braces work the same and they can all produce excellent results. The experience and skill of your orthodontist and their team will be the factors that make the difference.