Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

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EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#1 Post by EmilyTravels »

Anyone else experienced this? I have self-ligating brackets (like Damon but a competing system called Speed System). Every time I go to the orthodontist, my wires are changed, and the technician has a difficult time opening many of the bracket "gates", especially on the metal brackets on the lower arch. (I have clear brackets on the top six teeth and metal elsewhere). She really has to work to open these gates, and it hurts like h*ll when she is trying to pry them open. It also hurts when she closes them with a bigger archwire, like today, but the opening is the worst part.

Today I pre-medicated with 3 Ibuprofen plus half a Tylenol 3, and it didn't help at all. Once she finished the work and I left the office, the pain was a level "1", very very minor soreness, but while she was working on me, it was in the 5-8 range. VERY uncomfortable.

Just wondering if anyone else has such painful wire changes? I take very good care of my dental hygiene, so I don't think that is the problem. I don't know how much experience the tech has, but she's not one of the younger ones in the office, so I am assuming she's been around awhile. The orthodontist is board-certified and gets great reviews, but the techs are the ones doing most of the work.

jole958237
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#2 Post by jole958237 »

Oh gosh, I thought I was the only one! I have self-litigating braces on top and conventional for the bottom, and both are very painful to adjust. Mainly, whenever the techs put any sort of pressure on the teeth, like to shut the gates or stretch the power chain around the loops, it hurts so much I tear up. After the wires/bands are in, I'm mostly good until the next adjustment. They told me I have sensitive teeth and don't seem worried, they've said it'll get better with time. I've had 3 adjustments so far, all with different techs, and they all hurt. Been popping an Advil for the last two, but it doesn't seem to help.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#3 Post by EmilyTravels »

I feel better hearing this (though sorry you are suffering too!) I thought maybe traditional brackets with elastic ligatures would hurt less, but from your experience, it sounds like that is not the case. My tech (I have the same one each time, just the way my ortho does things) says that she has more problems opening the "gates" on the brackets in adults vs. with children, for some reason. She also says that the lower teeth tend to hurt more (true in my case). I use Sensodyne toothpaste, but this doesn't help either.

It's uncomfortable enough that I wouldn't mind a shot of Novacaine in the bottom arch nerves for my wire changes if they would offer it, but they don't. The tech also said that the ibuprofen wouldn't really help during adjustment but should help afterwards, so I continued it yesterday and last night but am going to try to go without today. Today my teeth are just sore and achy, no sharp pains like during the appointments.

BrunetteMoment
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#4 Post by BrunetteMoment »

I wear Damon braces and know exactly how you feel.
The pain is the worst when they’re closing the gates over super active teeth, especially at the beginning. The less my teeth are moving, the less painful the gate opening and closing process seems to be. Good luck!
Damon Metal. 18 months.
Fixing: Overbite, overjet, crowding.

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Ziggy
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:48 pm

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#5 Post by Ziggy »

Exact same problem here. The issue is that to open the bracket they are pulling on your tooth and to close the bracket they are pushing on it. I asked my ortho if there was a better tool to do this and they said no. What they need is something that levers the bracket open, and a pliers that curves around the tooth to support it when closing the bracket. My immediate solution was to take ibuprofen before my appointments. Worked for me.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#6 Post by EmilyTravels »

Ziggy wrote:Exact same problem here. The issue is that to open the bracket they are pulling on your tooth and to close the bracket they are pushing on it. I asked my ortho if there was a better tool to do this and they said no. What they need is something that levers the bracket open, and a pliers that curves around the tooth to support it when closing the bracket. My immediate solution was to take ibuprofen before my appointments. Worked for me.
I like your idea for a better tool! Seems like someone would invent one.

I tried 3 ibuprofen and half a Tylenol 3 (didn't want to get loopy since I had to drive) before my last appointment, and it still hurt like H*LL. My bottom teeth are especially sensitive to the pain. I wondered if swishing with some form of edible oil would help oil the little hinges!? Obviously I wouldn't go into the ortho with an oiled mouth, but they could have a little cup of it there for us to swish with... Yeah, I'm dreaming! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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djspeece
Posts: 1917
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:36 am
Location: North Canton, Ohio USA

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#7 Post by djspeece »

Given the amount of pain you experience, I would recommend that you ask the ortho to remove your arch wires. He won't like that idea, but you are not paying to be tortured. Some techs are more heavy-handed than others and I don't think you should be having this kind of pain. It might alert him to an issue that he needs to be aware of. Best of luck to you.
Dan

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

Mpkh
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:12 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#8 Post by Mpkh »

I think it has more to do with the tech and the technique the tech uses. I’ve had a different tech each time I went in, and while I’ve been lucky with my adjustments in that none of them hurt when they slide the gates opened, some were definitely more uncomfortable than others.
Braced: April 07, 2017
Debraced: February 08, 2019
Sentence: 18-24 months
Actual time in braces: 22 months and 1 day
Reason: Straighten teeth, correct crossbite and edge-to-edge bite

http://myjourneyandlifewithbraces.blogspot.ca

lambchop
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:56 pm
Location: Podunk, USA

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#9 Post by lambchop »

I also think it has much more to do with the tech. There were a few at my office that were pretty rough and tumble, and two others that could finesse the self-ligating brackets and make it almost painless. Unfortunately, it was always luck of the draw. I started wearing waterproof eye make-up to my adjustments after having a particularly eye-watering appointment. I didn't see until I got back to my car and checked out my new ligatures that I had total raccoon eyes from Debbie trying to rip all the teeth out of my head...really classy, lol. Debbie was the WORST!!!!!

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#10 Post by EmilyTravels »

If it is the tech, I'm doomed, since my ortho assigns one tech to each patient for the entire time we're in braces. :(

My tech is super nice and seems competent, but now I wonder. She knows that it hurts and tries really hard not to hurt me, but I am probably more sensitive than normal as well.

Someone above suggested that I should demand that my ortho do my wire changes, but I really can't do that. The office is a big open area with patients all lined up on chairs, and he floats from patient to patient. He leaves all the routine stuff to the techs, and I am just not the type of person to rock the boat and ask them to change their normal procedures for me. Yes, I know I am a wimp! :oops:

MrPlenty
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:52 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#11 Post by MrPlenty »

I remember my days of self ligating brackets. The opening and closing was horrible. And I feel it’s because they are more of a pain to clean than traditional brackets. Food particles etc get stuck in the crevices over time and even if your dental hygiene is superb it will still cause issues when it’s appointment time. I’m glad I have traditional now. All that selfligating stuff is just hype the orthodontist makes the difference not thebrackets.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#12 Post by EmilyTravels »

MrPlenty wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:16 pm
I remember my days of self ligating brackets. The opening and closing was horrible. And I feel it’s because they are more of a pain to clean than traditional brackets. Food particles etc get stuck in the crevices over time and even if your dental hygiene is superb it will still cause issues when it’s appointment time. I’m glad I have traditional now. All that selfligating stuff is just hype the orthodontist makes the difference not thebrackets.
Thanks for confirming this. I wish I'd gotten traditional brackets, but my ortho didn't even offer them as an option. I don't know if that means that he only uses self-ligating brackets or what....

I agree with your assessment of why the brackets are so hard to open and close. I do have impeccable oral hygiene, but I know they are getting gummed up with tiny particles. The tech said that she has a lot harder time opening the bracket gates on adults vs. children, and I am sure adults have better hygiene practices in general, so I can only assume it's something to do with the fact that adults build up tartar and plaque quicker than kids.

I dread every appointment because of this. OTOH, I want to get out of these braces asap, so I look forward to appointments for that reason. It's a love-hate relationship for sure. :lol:

MrPlenty
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:52 am

Re: Super painful wire changes with Damon-type brackets

#13 Post by MrPlenty »

Just like yours, my first orthodontist only offered self ligating brackets. They are much more of a hassle than whatever “quicker” results you may think you see. Also it is a must in regards to using proxa brushes with those brackets. The build up will be noticeable if you don’t use them. They are simply not worth it to me over traditional braces.

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