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  1. #1
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    Traditional braces vs Self-Ligating Braces (Damon, Smart Clip, Speed, In-Ovation)

    In the August 2010 issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthodpedics, an article was written about claims made by manufacturers of various self-ligating braces. The American Association of Orthodontics' Council on Scientific Affairs looked at this topic from the stand point of what evidence there is about these claims. They looked at a number of questions such as:

    1. Does lateral expansion of the dental arch by SL brackets "grow" buccal alveolar bone? There is no peer reviewed material on this subject.

    2. Is lateral expansion of the dental arch by SL brackets comparable with the lateral expansion gained by rapid maxillary expansion followed by conventional brackets? There is no peer reviewed material on this subject.

    3. Is lateral expansion of the dental arch gained by SL brackets stable in the long term? There is no peer reviewed material on this subject.

    4. Are SL brackets more efficient and more effective than conventional bracket systems? Current evidence DOES NOT support this assertion.

    5. So SL brackets provide less friction between the archwire and bracket? Current evidence shows this under specific lab conditions, but does not represent real life situations.

    6. Do SL brackets produce lower clincial forces compared with traditional brackets? No in-vivo studies ahve been shown to answer this question.

    7. Do patients treated with SL brackets experience less pain during treatment? There is not a lot of data to compare, yet this is a study reporting that patients with SL brackets experienced greater pain than those with traditional brackets.

    8. Are conventional brackets less hygienic than SL brackets? Evidence does not support this claim.

    Most of the notable assertions made by SL bracket companies are not backed up by evidence in scientific studies. Unfortunately, many orthodontists, websites, and forum posts continue to make these claims. Ultimately, the review of the literature at this time shows that it is not the type of brace that is going to determine the outcome of your treatment. It is the skill of the orthodontist, his/her team, treatment plan, and diagnosis that will be the difference.
    Dr Jason K Tam
    Markham Orthodontist, Stouffville Orthodontist, Oshawa

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  2. #2
    This is so informative. I was planning on getting Clarity SL brackets. Have you encountered any problems with these sorts of brackets? If the self-ligating brackets really serves no purpose rather than the advantage of having no ligatures, is it better to just get the regular clarity brackets?

  3. #3
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    Most SL brackets work pretty much the same as their non-SL counterparts. However, there have been a lot of anecdotal reports of problems with achieving full corrections with anterior Clarity SL brackets. This includes orthodonitsts who were speaking for 3M when they first came out, and are no longer using them. If you are considering ceramics and they are going to be Clarity, it may be prudent to choose the regular ones. Good luck!
    Dr Jason K Tam
    Markham Orthodontist, Stouffville Orthodontist, Oshawa

    Top 1% Super Elite Invisalign, Teen Provider, Invisalign Speaker's Bureau
    2012 Las Vegas Invisalign Case Finalist
    2014 Invisalign Case Publication

    Invisalign in Toronto Blog
    **NEW** Before and After Invisalign 2.0 Video
    Stouffville Braces Blog

    For the best Toronto Invisalign results, see how to choose an Invisalign doctor, and Invisalign vs Braces
    Markham Braces Blog

    MCO Orthodontics Facebook

  4. Here is my experience:
    I went into orthodontic treatment purely just for an adult expansion, something Damon promises and does a lot of marketing hype.
    Damon does NOT expand anything. Teeth were tipped into the correct straight position, and THAT is all the 'expansion' adults will get from Damon. There is no true expansion, as in palatal expansion. The dental arch will seem 3-4 mm wider because teeth are tipped.

    This is from my own experience. Been wearing Damons now for 1 year exactly, and the 'expanding' wire was put in 10 weeks ago. NO expansion has been made. So for all of you adults looking into palatal expansion, Damon does not work. BUT, it does however tip the teeth into their straight position, giving room for the tongue to move up and having normal occlusion.
    Any brackets/wires and skill of ortho can do that though so no need to go the most expensive route.

  5. #5
    I choose to have SPEED brand self-ligating braces put on (last week) mainly because they are a bit smaller and the fact that I do not have to wear ligatures on my teeth. AT 53 yrs old - I was trying to make them a bit less noticeable (but now that I have them I realize it probably did not matter). My orthodontist did not make any false claims about using the self-ligating nor did he push me to to use them over traditional. He said that studies show they do not really work "faster" and that the end result would be the same with traditional brackets or the SPEED brackets. If I had found this forum a couple weeks sooner or knew what I know now - I may have chosen the traditional brackets with clear on top - but it is to late now.
    Lori

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I'm over halfway through with my 3M Clarity SL braces and they are AMAZING! My teeth started severly crowded and overlapped and now they're nearly perfect! 7mos down, 6 to go! Super fast, super comfortable and super easy!

    Krissy

  7. #7
    Hi all :) I read all the threads/arguments about SL vs traditional braces until my head hurt! haha. If someone could directly answer my question, that would be wonderful :)

    I'm a 20 year old college student looking to get braces on soon. Level 1 malocclusion: crowding on the lower bite, slight rotation on the upper bite... looking at an 18 month treatment time

    I'm sort of in a unique position because I'm getting treatment done at my university's graduate clinic. Dental school grads who will be presided over by a senior practicing faculty orthodontist...

    Wondering whether I should go with traditional braces or the Damon metal brackets? My doctor said that traditional brackets are $5 while the Damon ones are $30... but because of the agreement I signed, I get charged the same amount of money either way...

    I feel super self-conscious about getting braces so I'd like to get braces as least visible as possible... I keep reading that Damon brackets tend to be smaller so less noticeable...and easier because no elastics. I know that it isn't the bracket--it's the orthodontist's skill that ultimately makes the difference, but I'd love to get a second opinion from you all! :)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by arjansingh View Post
    Dear lucy,

    You are absolutely right! It's the orthodontist's skill that makes the difference. The Damon system is nothing but misleading publicity... It looks very promising, showing all advantages in comparison to conventional braces.

    There were reports of people with collapsed dental arch after treatment with Damon system. I don't advise such system, but it's up to you.

    cheers
    arjan
    Do you have any references for this? I've googled and all I see is collapsed dental arches with unnecessary extractions...

  9. #9
    I am scheduled to get Damon SL brackets at the end of October. I hope that I will not have a lot of pain with them because I have a very low pain threshold. When I asked my orthodontist if I could expect a shorter treatment time (as per the Damon claims on their website) he said, "I wish Ormco would stop saying that. It has not been my experience." I will be in my braces for two years. At the age of 54 this is something that I am definitely NOT looking forward to. I am actually dreading the whole experience because I think I will look utterly ridiculous. Maybe I will be proven wrong, who knows?

  10. #10
    I didn't know that SL brackets were not considered traditional braces. Why do you like your better?

  11. #11
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    Here is a link to an abstract for a randomized control trial (the strongest type of evidence) in a study between self-ligating braces and traditional braces. This study again shows that there is no difference.

    See the abstract here.
    Dr Jason K Tam
    Markham Orthodontist, Stouffville Orthodontist, Oshawa

    Top 1% Super Elite Invisalign, Teen Provider, Invisalign Speaker's Bureau
    2012 Las Vegas Invisalign Case Finalist
    2014 Invisalign Case Publication

    Invisalign in Toronto Blog
    **NEW** Before and After Invisalign 2.0 Video
    Stouffville Braces Blog

    For the best Toronto Invisalign results, see how to choose an Invisalign doctor, and Invisalign vs Braces
    Markham Braces Blog

    MCO Orthodontics Facebook

  12. #12
    Good reference Markham. Generally, the "ties" used with traditional braces do an effective job of holding the wire in place, but impart significant disadvantages including frictional binding and food trapping. Through elimination of these "ties" Self-Ligating braces reduce frictional resistance. This may permit the teeth to move more freely, and with less applied force. As a result, treatment may be more comfortable, and tooth movement more efficient. Additionally, food trapping is also reduced due to the elimination of "ties".
    Remember, Dentistry is not Expensive...Neglect is!!!!===>DentistsinMobileAl

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