Damon Self-Ligating Braces – Is There Truth Behind the Advertising?

Damon Self-Ligating Braces
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. Stosich,
I recently went to an orthodontist who was talking about a lot of new technological advances that he offers in his office. His website talks a lot about self-ligating braces and the advantages they have over regular braces. It claims my treatment time will be a lot shorter and that they are a lot more comfortable. But is that really true?
Sincerely,
Matthew B.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Matthew,
This is a topic that is important to me as a professional orthodontist who cares about ensuring every orthodontic patient receives exceptional care. There have been a lot of technological advances in the orthodontic field over the years, and some have very powerful marketing machines behind them. And that can make it difficult for patients to know the truth.

Damon self-ligating braces have been gaining in popularity, thanks to being advertised as taking less time and causing less discomfort than other braces. Many orthodontists advertise them as such, which can get a patient’s hopes up that their treatment will fly by and be comfortable. But, is that really true?

I say, let’s look to the evidence. Is there solid evidence to back up these claims, or any claims made by a company?

When it comes to Damon braces, many randomized and controlled trials, reviews and even the American Association of Orthodontics have reached the same conclusion – there is a lack of any clear evidence that supports a claim that Damon self-ligating braces reduce treatment time, result in fewer extractions, and cause less discomfort.

There was even recently a case in the United Kingdom in which the UK advertising standards agency concluded that the evidence provided by the company that manufactures Damon Braces was misleading. They felt that the evidence provided by the companies was not sufficient to back up the claims that the braces can move teeth faster and are less painful.

Dr. Kevin O’Brien, a Professor of orthodontics at the School of Dentistry at the University of Manchester, UK, recently wrote about this topic on his blog. He and I share the viewpoint that orthodontists need to be careful with advertising claims and ensure we are presenting patients with true, ethical claims. The UK’s landmark claim that the company is misleading patients and violates professional ethical standards should be warning to all professionals to be sure any claims we make are backed up by true, scientific and peer reviewed evidence.

My advice – beware of any claim that your teeth will move faster that isn’t backed up by compelling evidence, and in the case of Damon self-ligating braces, this seems to be the case.

I have done extensive research on accelerated tooth movement, and have crafted carefully researched methods to improve patient experience and guide teeth to their proper locations as efficiently as possible.

There is no magic tool that can speed up orthodontic treatment. However, when you receive care by a well-trained orthodontist who is committed to the highest standards of care, your treatment will fly by.

Sincerely,
Dr. S.

AUTHOR: Michael Stosich

Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS, is a specialist orthodontist for children and adults with subspecialty expertise in robotically assisted orthodontics. Dr. Stosich serves as the orthodontic director at the University of Chicago's cleft lip and palate clinic and craniofacial anomalies clinic, which treats complex pediatric craniofacial anomalies.