Damon braces use self-ligating technology which can make teeth straightening faster, more comfortable, and – with Damon Clear braces – less noticeable than with traditional metal braces.
But is this braces system right for you? How does Damon compare to Invisalign clear aligners? There are so many types of braces available, it can be confusing figuring out what's what and which option is best for you (or your child).
But don't worry, we've got you covered!
Keep reading and you'll learn all about the Damon braces system, including:
- Damon braces vs Invisalign and traditional braces
- Damon metal braces vs Damon Clear ceramic braces
- Advantages and disadvantages of this system
- What Damon braces cost in the UK
- Reviews and before and after photos from Damon users
We hope this helps you decide which orthodontic treatment is most suitable for you or your child.
Table of contents
What are self-ligating braces?
Self-ligating braces are braces that use specialised clips, like little metal doors, which hold the archwires of the braces in place. A sliding mechanism allows teeth to move gradually as they straighten. This system doesn't require the little rubber bands used in traditional braces.
The makers of self-ligating braces and their affiliates claim that treatment is faster and less painful with self-ligating braces than with conventional braces.
However, there is other evidence to contradict these claims, and each person's experience will vary depending on the approach their orthodontist uses for their particular case.
What are Damon braces?
These braces, in theory, are the answer to everything that is inconvenient about regular braces. They are fitted just like regular braces, but they use self-ligating technology to straighten your teeth. The idea is that they are easier to clean, less painful, and require fewer in-office visits, but still straighten teeth effectively.
However, it's interesting to note that a 2017 ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that a particular dental clinic in Belfast could not make claims that Damon braces “provided faster or less painful treatment than traditional braces” because the evidence provided to support these claims was more anecdotal than scientific.
Still, new studies are being carried out all the time and the fact is that many dentist recommend Damon because they believe the system offers speedier treatment with less chairside time.
Damon Clear braces, which you can read more about below, also have the benefit of being barely noticeable.
Damon braces can treat the following orthodontic cases:
- Crooked teeth
- Mild to severe cases of malocclusion
In other words, the majority of problems that can be treated with conventional brackets can also be treated with Damon self-ligating brackets. Damon also claim that their braces can enhance facial aesthetics during treatment.
Types of Damon braces
There are two types of Damon System braces available in the UK. They both use self-ligating technology, but with differences in aesthetics and price.
Damon metal braces
Damon metal braces look very similar to traditional metal braces. The visible difference is that traditional braces have small hooks for elastic bands to attach, whereas Damon braces do not. With the Damon System, you can also see the self-ligating sliding mechanism—but only if you look very closely.
Damon Clear braces
Damon Clear braces are a type of ceramic brace. The bracket is transparent, so the braces are much less noticeable on your teeth. The difference between Damon ceramic braces and other brands is the lack of visible metal parts and elastic ties, making them even less noticeable.
Damon braces colours
Can you get Damon braces with colours? Absolutely! The clear option is attractive to those who want their braces to go unnoticed, but if you are all about making a statement, your dentist can add coloured bands to Damon appliances.
How do Damon braces work?
Just like any orthodontic appliance, treatment begins with a visit to your orthodontist or dentist. They will create a mould or 3D scan of your teeth and from there plan your treatment.
The self-ligating technology means that these braces should require less frequent checkups than traditional braces, making treatment more convenient. There is also no sudden tightening, which can be one of the more painful aspects of wearing braces. Plus there are no unsightly elastic bands that can occasionally snap inside your mouth, requiring unplanned dentist visits.
They still take just as long to fit as traditional braces, though. In the video below you can see a Damon patient named Sally having her clear braces fitted. The fitting takes 1 hour 45 minutes, and following this her dentist shows her how to maintain good oral hygiene during her treatment.
The creators of Damon System braces claim that their patients usually don't need tooth extractions or palatal expanders as part of their treatment.
Sometimes, orthodontists will need to use a power chain; a rubber band that connects your brackets. It pulls on your teeth with a lot more pressure than the self-ligating braces do on their own. This means that this part of the treatment can cause greater discomfort to patients – but on the plus side, it speeds up the whole process.
How long do Damon braces take to work?
You may start to see results quite quickly; sometimes within just a few weeks of starting treatment. Damon system braces can usually make treatment several months faster than traditional fixed braces. However, your overall treatment time will depend on the condition of your teeth to begin with.
Damon braces pros and cons
Damon System braces have gained popularity quite steadily since their introduction to the UK market because of the various benefits they offer compared to other kinds of brace:
- Faster treatment: A study conducted by the Bristol Dental Hospital and School found that the average time for Damon braces treatment was less than with traditional braces.
- Aesthetics: You can get either clear or metal braces with the Damon System. The clear brackets are designed to blend with the natural tooth colour, making them a great option for adults and teens who don't want it to be really obvious that they are wearing braces.
- Fewer office visits: The study mentioned above by the Bristol Dental Hospital and School also found that fewer in-office visits were required.
- Less pressure: The self-ligating system means they are less painful, or at least, the pain is less intense because it is more spread out than with other kinds of braces.
- Easier to clean: Since these braces have fewer parts and add-ons than regular braces, there are fewer places for plaque to build up, and they are easier to brush and floss.
- Less friction: The smaller amount of friction with the Damon System means less deterioration of teeth and enamel.
There are, however, some downsides to this system as well. Damon braces disadvantages include:
- Visibility: Although Damon Clear is less noticeable than regular metal braces, there is still a metal wire that other people may be able to see.
- Irritation: Any system that will be moving the position of your teeth is going to cause some irritability or discomfort to your mouth, at least at the beginning of treatment. There is also still a possibility of mouth sores caused by friction with the brackets.
- Cost: Damon braces cost more than traditional braces and Damon Clear braces cost even more, although are not that different to other aesthetic options like Invisalign aligners (more information on prices below).
Check out this table that sums up the pros and cons of Damon braces:
Fewer in-office visits
Costs more than traditional metal braces
Less painful than traditional metal braces
Some patients experience ulcers and irritation
Damon clear is less noticeable than traditional metal braces
Metal wire still noticeable
Often have shorter treatment time
For some, treatment length is the same
Often require no extractions
For some, extractions are required
Damon braces vs traditional metal braces
As mentioned above, there are some differences between Damon System braces and regular braces.
The main difference is that the Damon system is self-ligating, while regular braces have to be tightened periodically. The Damon System gradually tightens over time, using a sliding mechanism, in order to straighten your teeth more gently. In many cases, this treatment can cause less discomfort and pain.
Another difference is that Damon braces cost more on average than traditional braces, with Damon metal braces costing between £1,500 and £6,000, whereas traditional metal braces cost between £1,500 and £3,000.
Damon Clear braces offer similar benefits compared to other kinds of clear/ceramic brace brackets. In addition, Damon Clear may be even less noticeable because the brackets have no metal hooks or elastic bands.
Clear and ceramic braces can cost around 50% more than their metal counterparts, regardless of whether they use self-ligating or conventional brackets. Here's a summary of how the two braces systems compare:
£1,500 - £8,000
£1,500 - £6,000
Potentially 6 months less than traditional braces
Damon Clear braces vs Invisalign
So, what's the difference between Damon Clear braces and Invisalign clear aligners? Quite a lot, actually.
Clear aligners, or invisible braces, are another virtually invisible way to straighten teeth. Invisible braces are for treating mild to moderate cases of tooth crowding, while Damon Clear braces are for mild to severe cases.
Another difference is that aligners are removable, so they can be taken out for a couple of hours a day if needed. Damon braces are fixed to the teeth, working 24 hours a day.
Damon Clear braces cost about the same as the Invisalign system, or perhaps a little more, but prices vary depending on the severity of the case.
£2,500 - £8,000
£1,500 - £5,500
Less visible than metal
What do Damon braces cost in the UK?
Metal Damon braces cost between £1,500 and £6,000, with most cases falling in the £3,000 – £5,000 range. Exact prices depend on the amount of correction needed and the expected length of treatment.
Damon Clear braces cost around 50% more than the metal option. Some patients choose to have clear brackets on the top (where they are most visible) and metal on the bottom to save money.
Many dental clinics offer payment plans to help patients spread the cost of their treatment. This usually consists of an up-front payment followed by fixed monthly repayments to roughly correspond with treatment time.
Can you get Damon System braces on the NHS?
No, only traditional metal braces are provided on the NHS – and even then only for patients for whom orthodontic treatment is deemed clinically necessary. If you want self-ligating braces like Damon, you will need to pay for private treatment.
If you need help figuring out how to finance your braces, have a look at our article on dental financing.
Damon braces reviews
So, do Damon braces really work, and are they worth paying the extra for?
Let's have a look at some Damon braces reviews, to see what patients have to say:
Nuffnang's review: Quick results but not comfortable
“I'm a damon braces user and i've been wearing my braces for 1 year and 8 months”
At the time of this review, the patient had been wearing her braces for a year and eight months. It's not clear if she's totally happy with her treatment, but she does a good job of presenting both the pros and cons of Damon braces. Here are some of the things she mentions in her review:
- Quick: She says that the Damon System works quickly, and that she noticed results within the first month of treatment.
- Bigger smile: She has a broader smile now that she attributes to her braces.
- Larger gums: Her gums stand out much more than before.
- Uncomfortable: According to this reviewer, the claim that they are more comfortable than traditional braces just isn't true.
Jade's Damon Clear braces review: “You really can't see them”
In this following video, Damon patient Jade talks about her experience so far with Damon Clear braces.
She begins by saying how happy she is with how they look – you can hardly see them at all. But she has had some problems with tooth pain and sensitivity and had to stick to really soft foods for the first week. She also had a very bad toothache as the result of a previous sinus infection (but this is not a problem that most patients will experience).
Jade has quickly got used to the extra cleaning required for her braces. She uses interdental brushes to help clean around the brackets and wires.
Chanwon's review: Damon braces and Invisalign
“I'm really satisfied with my result”
This blogger has documented a long and detailed journey as part of her Damon braces review. She wore her braces for two and a half years, mostly for overbite correction. She reports being very happy with her teeth after getting her braces off; however, her teeth weren't quite as straight as she wanted them to be, so she opted to get Invisalign treatment after her Damon System braces treatment. She did end up having to get teeth extracted, including a wisdom tooth. Her experience includes:
- Extraction of four teeth
- Mini screws in gums
- Laser treatment
- Invisalign treatment for minor corrections
After all of this, she seems happy with her overall experience.
Alternatives to Damon
We mentioned these above so we'll keep it quick!
The Invisalign system uses clear plastic aligners which guide teeth into position over time. They are suitable for up to 90% of teeth-straightening cases.
Invisible braces can be slightly cheaper than what Damon Clear braces cost, and they have the added benefit of being removable and easy to clean.
If you're interested in Invisalign treatment, you can take a Smile Assessment to check your eligibility. You'll get an answer in minutes, and then you can go on to book an appointment with your nearest provider.
- Free scans at 17 UK SmileShop locations
- Nighttime aligners available
- Lifetime Smile Guarantee™
- £1,639 or £69.43/month + free teeth whitening
SmileDirectClub has been offering aligner treatment at home for over 8 years, making them one of the most experienced companies in this market.
Treatment takes 4-6 months on average, or 10 months for nighttime-only aligners. Their UK-based customer care is available 24/7 should you need to reach out at any time.
There are several ways you can get started:
- Take a smile assessment to see if you're eligible
- Order a home impression kit
- Visit a SmileShop for free scans (17 UK locations)
Every aligner package comes with free bright on™ teeth whitening, so you can whiten your teeth while you straighten them!
- Free retainers and whitening
- Nighttime aligners available
- 0% interest finance options
£1,395£1,295 or £83.33/month
NewSmile is a Canadian company that brought its clear aligners to the UK market in 2022. NewSmile aligners are made from the clearest material and the company offers excellent service at the best price.
They don't have any physical locations, so you'll need to purchase an aligner kit to get started. One of their Impression Specialists will guide you through the process on a video call when you're ready.
NewSmile aligners are very affordable, costing just £1,395 (currently discounted to £1,295). But even better, this price includes whitening foam to use in your aligners, plus your first set of retainers!
Choose their daytime package for treatment in 4-6 months, or nighttime aligners for a more discreet treatment that takes 8-10 months. Both options come with 0% interest payment plans available.
Traditional metal and ceramic braces
With traditional metal braces, stainless steel brackets are attached to each tooth. A flexible metal wire connects each bracket, and small elastic bands secure the wire. During in-office visits, an orthodontist tightens the wire to move teeth into the desired position.
You can also get clear or ceramic braces which use the same conventional style of bracket.
Lingual braces (including Incognito)
Lingual braces are another option for those who want to straighten their teeth without it being too noticeable. Lingual braces are fitted behind the teeth, so they are harder to see from the outside.
Other self-ligating braces
Clarity SL uses translucent tooth-coloured brackets which are designed to blend naturally with the teeth. They use a self-ligating system so come with many of the same benefits as Damon.
In-Ovation braces, similar to traditional braces, use brackets and wires to straighten teeth. This brand has a number of options, including tooth-coloured ceramic, self-ligating, and lingual braces.
This UK-based company Clearsmile manufactures an aligner system as well as self-ligating fixed braces. One difference between Clearsmile and Damon is that with Clearsmile, the archwire is coated white, making it even less noticeable.
If your dentist offers these or other brands of brace, ask them about why they have this preference and how they compare to big-name brands like Damon.
Conclusion: Damon braces pros and cons
Despite the claims that these braces are more efficient and provide faster treatment than traditional braces, there are some studies that say this is not the case. This study, published by the Journal of Dentofacial Anomalies and Orthodontics, finds that self-ligating braces do not decrease the number of tooth extractions needed, nor do they decrease the overall length of treatment.
If you're an adult or teen looking for an alternative to traditional metal braces, then you may find that the Damon system is a good option for you. Positive reviews and research results claim that since they are self-ligating, tightening happens gradually, resulting in less pain and pressure.
Some studies, however, say that these types of braces don't actually take less overall time than traditional braces. And in this article, you saw a review from a patient who needed multiple teeth extracted during her treatment with Damon braces.
Opting for Damon Clear makes treatment less obvious, but clear aligners deliver almost invisible teeth straightening and may cost less than Damon.
What is the difference between Damon and traditional braces?
Damon braces are self-ligating braces. They are equipped with a sliding mechanism that attaches wires to the brackets. This mechanism helps the braces gradually move on their own over time. Traditional braces must be manually tightened over time and also use elastic bands to move teeth. The Damon process is said to be less painful than traditional braces.
Are Damon braces painful?
Some patients report ulcers and mouth sores just like with regular braces, while others say that they are indeed less painful since they exert less pressure during the straightening process. A lot will depend on the type of tooth movement required in the first place.
How can I find a dentist that specialises in Damon braces in the UK?
The next time you are in for a visit, you can ask your dentist if they offer the Damon System. Otherwise you can go to the Damon website where they have a Damon dentist finder.
NCBI: Bristol Dental Hospital and School. Consulted 12 August 2019.
JDAO: Are self-ligating brackets an advantageous alternative for non-extraction treatments? Consulted 12 August 2019.
ASA: ASA Ruling on 15 Dental. Consulted 5th September 2019.
Prices stated are indicative only and are based on publicised treatment prices at dental clinics across the UK.