Over the years there have been many advances in the way orthodontic treatment is delivered but none so profound as the Damon Self-ligating System. This uses a force system that is 'biologically sensible' and applies just enough force to stimulate cellular activity without crushing the blood vessels around the roots. The upper jaw is allowed to expand naturally almost always reducing the need for extractions.
The Damon system is the incorporation of passive self-ligating brackets with new high technological arch wires selected to keep the forces light throughout treatment. By not over powering the biomechanical system the body's own physiology allows the arch to grow naturally without the use of mechanical expanders. The result is much more patient specific and ideal for each individual.
It is also possible to start treatment much earlier when the first permanent molars and incisor teeth have grown in. This could be as early as 7 years of age. In fact it is the best time to look at whether the child is likely to need braces because it is possible to influence and guide the growth of that individual to the best possible conclusion.
The most significant change in orthodontic ideology is to look more at the face and not just straight teeth. Beautiful faces have ideal facial proportion. Craniofacial orthopaedics looks at facial disharmonies and abnormalities and it is important to look at the body pattern and how the teeth have been influenced by the rest of the body.
By understanding body mechanics and integrating these with those of the head and bone the teeth sit in it is possible to make a lasting change. This could mean curing back pain and providing headache treatment in the long term. The way the teeth meet (the bite) locks the body into a dysfunction pattern. The body can be aligned at the same time as the teeth so that the new bite will lock the body into a stable pattern. For instance if the lower jaw is retruded the first cervical vertebrae in the neck moves forward creating a forward head posture. This and other bite problems must be corrected to let the system function correctly otherwise the airway is restricted and could result in sleep apnoea.
Most important of all treating to this standard will maximise facial aesthetics, TMJ health, psychological and physiological health, fertility and quality of life.