Space-Age Braces

November 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
About five million Americans currently have braces to fix, straighten and perfect those pearly whites, but some people put off getting their teeth straightened because of the time and pain involved. Now, there's another option that makes getting braces a whole lot easier. When Austin Everhart got his braces, he had one goal in mind?

"Having my teeth straight,' Everhart told Ivanhoe.

Austin has the Damon system, a new type of braces that orthodontist Frederick Gunter says is changing the field.

"Far out and beyond what I've used in my practice as far as efficiency, comfort, results," Frederick Gunter, D.D.S., an orthodontist in Charleston, S.C., told Ivanhoe.

The system uses alloy wires, inspired by NASA, that have a built-in memory.

"The wire is actually like a space-age wire," Dr. Gunter explained. "It can be crumbled up in your hand. Let it go, and it returns back to the arch."

That allows teeth to be straightened with gentle force. The system also uses an innovative bracket instead of elastic ties.

"It has a mechanism that slides to hold the wiring in, rather than tightening the wiring in," Dr. Gunter stated.

The brackets work like a garage door. When a wire adjustment is needed, the doors slide open, and the wire pops out.

"The wire is engaged in the slot by this sliding door," Dr. Gunter said.

Since the wires are not tied in, they can float freely to guide the teeth into place. Haley Hester says that means less pain. She had conventional braces first and now has the new braces.

"I just like these braces better than the older," Hester said.

The new braces straighten teeth about six months faster, result in fewer office visits and require fewer tooth extractions. When Joanne Suzara heard about it, she was sold.

"They said they would not have to take any teeth away," Suzara recalled. "I thought that was a perfect plan for me."

Another advantage: the new braces are easier to clean since there are no elastic ties, which often trap food. They are also similar in cost to conventional braces - but just like traditional braces, depends on your particular orthodontist's costs. The system is currently being used by orthodontists nationwide.

Dr. Gunter believes in the near future, all braces will be done this way.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
The Damon System
www.damonbraces.com


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