I had six month smiles done, and after they were taken off I realized my teeth flare forward. I can just barely close my lips now, I'm so unhappy with my smile! Not only did he shave off the majority of my teeth, he made my mouth and lips puffy. I wanted to know if Damon Braces could fix my flaring teeth/overbite and line everything up properly? I went to an orthodontist who doesn't provide Damon braces and he had said the only way he could fix everything was with extractions, which scare me.
Can Damon Braces Fix Flaring Teeth and Overbite Without Extractions? (photo)
Doctor Answers (5)
Do Damon Braces Eliminate the Need for Extractions?
I am a Damon orthodontist. If you go on the Damon website you'll see that I am the only one in a 100 mile radius of Albuquerque. I love Damon brackets. I just put them on 5 patients this morning alone. But here's the truth... Damon braces are just braces. They are not magic. They still must obey the laws of nature and require the training and experience of an orthodontic specialist (an orthodontist) to achieve great results. The Six Month Smile system is a short cut approach to orthodontics. General dentists who use it generally take a one day course and are then "certified." They have little or no orthodontic training or experience. You probably got all you could get out of that approach. The only way to really improve your profile is to remove four bicupsids and move your front teeth back inside your lips. I do it all the time. I did it with my wife and daughter. It might make you nervous to think about it, but it will really be a lot easier than you're imagining. And at the end, you'll have the smile you really want... done right, cutting no corners!
Damon System, Flaring Teeth, Tooth Extractions
First of all, I will tell you that the 6 month smiles does nothing but line up what we call the "social 6" (the 6 front teeth). There is no way that the proper bite can be achieved in this amount of time. Damon System Braces will give every opportunity of reducing the flaring of the incisors by selective torque prescriptions (the prescriptions we select for your braces). The reduced friction in the Damon System Braces will give every opportunity for the teeth to move to the desired position over some of the the older systems that are out there. However, the reduction in torque (inclination) will be limited to what can be accomplished and auxillaries may be needed to help (TADs - Temporary Anchorage Devices). I would use this as a last resort vs. extracting 4 healthy teeth.
Damon Brackets and Profile Changes
No brace system can move teeth where there is no space in which to move. To reduce the fullness of the set of anterior teeth, the teeth need somewhere to go. It is pretty simple to understand and at times difficult to accomplish. Trying to align crowded anterior teeth that have nowhere to go but more forward can result in difficulty in closing your lips. Extraction of bicuspids may be the best decision but not the most popular! So dentists and orthodontists try without extracting teeth (out of fear or to satisfy the patient) and eventually realize the profile is too full. The Damon System is fantastic and I love using it....but as any bracket system...it has its limits. I also appreciate "Damon's" ability to expand the arches which gains some space but in some cases even widening the arch fails to produce adequate space to reduce facial fullness. Extraction of bicuspids may be indicated....depending on the degree of facial fullness you present with.
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Damon Braces Can Help, but Extractions May be Needed
Although Damon Braces can broaden your smile and provide a bit more space to pull your teeth back to give your teeth the proper amount of "flaring" with their customized bracket "torques," you may still need extractions to give you the ability to close your lips as much as you want. The concept of a 6 month smile can be very tempting, but usually you are sacrificing many factors of a gorgeous smile in the interest of a quick fix.
Make sure you tell your friends about your experience with 6 month braces, so they can avoid similar disappointment. The problem with 6 month braces is that the doctor is essentially using round wires and tooth grinding (like you had mentioned) with not much being done to keep the teeth from flaring forward.
A beautiful smile has so many factors beyond just generalized "straightness" one of them being proper torque so that light reflects off them in the most aesthetic manner. Your smile just doesn't come alive like it should when your teeth are overly flared.
Simply put many times a beautiful smile takes longer than 6 months to achieve, and you should invest in a smile you deserve.
Six month braces and now teeth stick out.
As you now probably understand, it is important to go to an ADA recognized orthodontic specialist to get this kind of work done. It is also perfectly OK to go to more than one orthodontic specialist to get several opinions if you want to. When it comes to moving the front teeth back with Damon braces, as a very experienced orthodontist (39 years) I do feel that I can move upper front teeth back better now than I was able to before I started using Damon braces about seven years ago. Whether or not it would be possible to reduce the protrusion that the non orthodontist has created is uncertain. Try to find a recognized orthodontic specialist who has been using Damon braces for a while and see if they think it can be done without extractions. It might be a good idea to let the non orthodontist know how unhappy you are and maybe he won't keep doing this to other people. It doesn't seem like it would be much of a practice builder for him to have a lot of patient's in your situation walking around telling their friends about it and writing reviews of his practice on the web. If you do end up having extractions it is not the end of the world. Get a good orthodontist, plan the treatment very carefully in terms of profile changes, and you should be able to get a nice result that you are happy with.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.