Summary: In this podcast episode, sponsored by Ormco, Stuart Frost, DDS, discusses Ormco’s Damon Ultima bracket system, highlighting the benefits and evolution of the Ultima system and explaining why orthodontists should prioritize continuing education to adapt to the new system effectively.

Key takeaways:

  • Frost explains the benefits of passive self-ligation brackets, particularly the Ultima system’s 3D control, which enhances finishing and treatment efficiency.
  • The Ultima system, developed by Dr Damon, addresses challenges of passive self-ligation, offering improved rotation and torque control for better results.
  • Frost recommends continuing education, such as Ormco’s online courses and the upcoming Ormco Forum, for practitioners transitioning to the Ultima system to optimize their proficiency and patient outcomes.

In a recent episode of the Orthodontic Products podcast, hosted by Alison Werner and sponsored by Ormco, Stuart Frost, DDS, discussed the advancements in orthodontic treatments facilitated by Ormco’s Damon Ultima bracket system. Frost, an orthodontist based in Mesa, Ariz, and a part-time associate clinical professor at the University of the Pacific, shared his extensive experience with the system.

Evolution of Damon Ultima System

Frost detailed his journey beginning in 2000 with the original Damon system, emphasizing the benefits of passive self-ligation, which promotes broader arch development and early crowding resolution. He described the evolution of the system into Damon Ultima, designed to overcome previous limitations by offering enhanced control over tooth movement and positioning. This new system aims to provide a unique approach to orthodontic treatment, combining a redesigned bracket and wire system for improved 3D control and efficiency.

Impact on Clinical Practice

Since its prototype introduction in 2017 and subsequent market confirmation study in 2019, Frost has adopted Damon Ultima, noting significant improvements in treatment times and patient management. He explained that the Ultima system has reduced the average treatment duration and the frequency of patient visits by 30%, streamlining operations in his practice and improving patient satisfaction with quicker treatment periods.

Watch the Video Pearl: The Damon Ultima System – The First True Full Expression System

Technological Advances and Educational Opportunities

The Ultima system’s novel features, such as repositionable hooks and a unique wire design, have simplified procedures and enhanced treatment outcomes. Frost highlighted the importance of continuous education for practitioners looking to transition to or optimize their use of the Ultima system. He encouraged engagement with Ormco’s educational resources, such as the Ultima Journey online course and the upcoming Ormco Forum.

Future Directions and Learning Opportunities

Looking ahead, Frost remains active in sharing his knowledge through various platforms, including Ormco’s VIP courses and his own Frost Smile Academy. These educational programs offer hands-on experience and deeper insights into utilizing the Ultima system effectively, from bracket placement to comprehensive treatment planning.

As orthodontic technologies evolve, Frost’s insights into the Damon Ultima system underscore the ongoing advancements in the field, promising more efficient and effective treatment modalities for both practitioners and patients. OP

Podcast Transcript

Alison Werner 0:05
Hello and welcome to the Orthodontic Products podcast. I’m your host Alison Werner. In this episode sponsored by Ormco, we’re going to talk about Ormco’s Damon Ultima bracket system. And joining me to do that is Dr. Stuart Frost. Dr. Frost is in private practice in Phoenix, and he is a part time associate clinical professor of orthodontics at the University of the Pacific orthodontic program. He is also a frequent lecturer at the AAO annual sessions, as well as for the Damon Damon forums and Ormco sponsored events. Dr. Frost thank you for joining me today.

Dr Stuart Frost 0:33
Alison, thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.

Alison Werner 0:37
Great. Well, to get started, can you tell us a little bit about your practice and kind of your journey in orthodontics?

Speaker 1 0:44
You bet. So I practice in little town, it’s not so little but a town outside of Phoenix called Mesa, Arizona. And I started my practice from scratch in the year 2000. And it was at this time that I started my practice using the Damon system, and had the opportunity to start when there really wasn’t a lot of passive self ligation brackets in in the community and then throughout the world, and had the opportunity to really learn and grow while using this Damon system, the passive self ligation,

Alison Werner 1:21
You know, you talked there about how you’ve been using the Damon system. So I know you have been working with the Ultima system for a very long time. And you’re a big advocate of it, and I know your lecture on it. Can you talk about that experience working with this system and just explain the system for our audience?

Dr Stuart Frost 1:38
Sure. You know, after using passive self ligation for so many years, it’s been interesting to see how when you treat with passive self ligation, there’s some real benefits. And some of those benefits are that we see a broader uprighting and widening of arches because we don’t have the wire bound into the bracket slot. And we see some other benefits, early unraveling of crowding. And with this passive self ligation, as many of us who have used it in the past know, that there’s some challenges with passive self ligation. There is some, when the wire goes into the slot, there’s some play between the wire in the bracket. And that play is blessing, and it’s also a little bit of a challenge, because the blessing is that we get to see teeth molded into the occlusions better when we’re not so rigidly bound to the wire and the bracket. But some of the challenges of this play is that we end up seeing some rotation issues trying to to get rotations out of our treatment, and we see some finishing issues and having to bend more wire as we finish. So the Ultima system really is a system where Dr. Damon said, How can I fix the challenges that we’ve had for all these past two decades, two and a half decades with passive self ligation. So it was born out of, hey we all still love passive self ligation, but how do we create a new system, unlike the other passive self ligation system we’ve had, and really revolutionized that control in finishing our treatment. And so the Ultima system was a passion of Dr. Damon’s to say okay, let’s take and revolutionize and completely redesign passive self ligation so that when we go into the first round rectangular wire, we now have complete rotation control early on in treatment. And then as we go closer to our finishing, and we increased to our full size wire, the 18 275 wire. Now we have four points of contact, we have rotation control, and get angulation control and torque control, which we really haven’t had that in passive self ligation. So this idea of a new revolutionary system such as Ultima has given us what we are terming 3D control, and 3D controlling finishing, which we haven’t had before.

Alison Werner 4:12
Okay, so how long have you been using the system?

Dr Stuart Frost 4:16
So I started actually, we saw the first prototype of the system in 2017. So we got a little bit of a taste of it in 2017. But it wasn’t until 2019 that there were 12 of us that had the first 50 cases apiece to really test and do a market confirmation study to really look at it. And so I would say since 2019. I’ve been using it for about four years.

Alison Werner 4:40
Okay. And then in those four years, how has the system kind of evolved for you?

Dr Stuart Frost 4:46
Well, and anytime you use a new bracket system or you have new technologies, there’s a learning curve. So I’ve had the opportunity to to make mistakes that other people don’t have to make because of what I’ve seen and I think some of the things that I’ve learned is that when we use a proclining bracket and a retroreclining bracket and a full size wire, we have 3D control. And so we have to unlearn some of the things we’ve learned and passive self ligation over the experience to use this differently, so we can have better results in finishing.

Alison Werner 5:18
Okay. And I know you talked to you talked a little bit about, you know, what sets the Ultima system apart before. But can you talk a little more in depth about how, how the Ultima system separates itself from the competition?

Dr Stuart Frost 5:34
Yeah, so in this new design, Dr. Damon not only created a new bracket design, but he also created a new wire design, instead of that traditional rectangular wire in the in the slot, he created a new wire that was rounded on the edges and rectangular on top or flat on top, this new wire now gives us point contact in three dimension control and moving teeth. So when you put a wire into the slot that has this, that’s a round rectangular wire, we now have contact at the door and the base of the bracket. So that gives us the rotation control. And as we get to our bigger wire, our finishing wire, now we have point contact at the edges for angulation and torque control. So this this new 3D control is changing everything for us. So not only are we are we seeing a broader transverse arch development, we’re seeing these finishes that are happening in faster amounts of time, and in better control than ever. So all of a sudden, we’re not seeing our patients as long as they’re getting done faster. We don’t have as many patient appointments to see the patients to get them finished. And that to me, that’s what’s really changing in my practice.

Alison Werner 6:51
Yeah, so it’s changing your workflow then.

Dr Stuart Frost 6:54

Alison Werner 6:55
Yeah. Can you talk about the Ultima hooks, which Ormco rolled out?

Dr Stuart Frost 7:01
I think all of us in our profession, at one point or another have been so frustrated, if we put a if we crimp a hook onto a wire, we’ve seen those hooks loosen up and time and that causes problems and treatment, then we’ve seen other hooks where they’re like these gorilla hooks, you hook them on, you can never move them ever. And then you’d have to if you ever needed to move a hook, you’d have to throw that wire away. Well, the Ultima hook is completely changed the game because the Ultima hook works differently. We grab onto the hook with a plier and we squeeze it it’s a it’s a NiTi hook and we can release the hook and it can be repositioned to any place on the wire that we want it to. And when we let go, it’s not going to move. So it’s like this repositionable hook that that has changed everything. The cool thing about these hooks is that we have them on very initial round rectangular wires, we have them on finishing wires, stainless steel, TMA, copper NiTi. And it’s exciting because there’s not been a time where we’ve had a hook where we can reposition that hook during treatment if we needed to, without without it loosening up during that treatment.

Alison Werner 8:14
If you were talking to someone who’s you know, been practicing with a different kind of bracket for a long time and just making this transition to this kind of system, what would your advice be to them?

Dr Stuart Frost 8:26
I think the biggest advice that I would give to somebody that’s considering either changing or has changed their practice over is to go to continue education. There’s so many ways Ormco has online learning about the Ultima system, there’s a online learning called the Ultima Journey, and you can go and see how to use it. When I started in the year 2000 with the Damon System, you know, I made it a point that I was gonna go to every continuing education I could to learn more about the system. And in anything in life, when you learn something new, it’s all about the repetition, and going back and learning more. So I would encourage people to go to continue education courses, like the Ormco is having an Ormco Forum, they’re bringing it back. And this is a great opportunity to go and learn more about Ultima and learn about how to place the brackets on the teeth, how to use the wire sequencing, how to use the ultimate hooks, how to finish faster than we had before how to get that workflow, so that to your as efficient as possible as an orthodontist and helping the patients have those beautiful results. Yeah,

Alison Werner 9:31
I know you talked a little bit about it, because you gotta go a little more in depth on how this the system and using it for your cases has changed your practice and your patient experience.

Dr Stuart Frost 9:43
Yeah, that’s such a great question. You know, for us in our practice, we’ve always been concerned about, okay, what’s the treatment time that we think we’re going to be? And in that treatment time, how many times are we going to have to see our patient so we track: Here’s what our treatment time should be this is how many times we should see the patient. And we’ve tried to get those treatment times and how many visits down because in a practice in a large practice, you know, the less visits that you have with the patient, the more money you make. And if you can get patients in and out, then you have more room for others. So one thing that’s that’s changed in our practice is we brought treatment times down by an average of 30%. And we’ve seen less visits from those patients by about 30%. So all of a sudden, we have more room in our schedule for new patients, patients are finishing faster. And I don’t know any patient that doesn’t want to be done faster. They all want to be done as quick as they can. In fact, we’re even seeing some adult cases that are finishing in 10 months, nine months, 10 months, and that that’s been a big change for our practice. So the other thing that happens is that our assistants love the fact that these, this new technology, and especially these new hooks, are making it easier for them. One thing that we had with passive self ligation, one of the techniques that we would do to keep space consolidated in the anterior is we would wire tie or wire lace from the cuspid to cuspid as we progressed in wire size that we didn’t see opening up of spaces in the anterior. Well, you can imagine if you’re putting wire tie or power chain on, that’s the hygiene problem. And now, because of the new Ultima hooks, we can snug those hooks up distal to the cuspids. And that locks those into place so that as we progress in wire size, we’re not seeing the space open up. We’re not keeping power chain on as long. And that only benefits our patients in the hygiene and helps us to finish our cases faster.

Alison Werner 11:45
Oh, great. Okay. Well, I’m curious, you mentioned a little bit about you know, everyone should go check out the continuing education on this system to learn more. But I’m curious, do you have any lectures or any events coming up that you’re going to be leading?

Dr Stuart Frost 11:58
Yes. So we have, I have a VIP course that Ormco offers. There’s one I’ll be going to in September. Also the Ormco Forum, that’s an October. And then I have my own personal in office course where we talk about Ultima and how we work with that. So if anybody’s interested will give you the information on those courses. If anybody wants to look up my my course it’s my in office course it’s at But those are the the up and coming courses.

Alison Werner 12:34
Great. And then that one that’s in your practice. I’m guessing that’s hands on working with patients and seeing it and in process.

Dr Stuart Frost 12:44
What’s cool about that course is that will actually do a bonding course where the attendees get to put the ultimate bracket on a typodont. We talked about bracket position, how to position the Ultima bracket. And then we have life patients who are demonstrating TADs and gummy smile correction and how to use the Ultima for beautiful finishes.

Alison Werner 13:07
Great. Well, Dr. Frost, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.

Dr Stuart Frost 13:11
Alison, thank you so much.

Alison Werner 13:14
As always, thank you for joining us. Be sure to subscribe to the Orthodontic Products podcast to keep up with the latest episodes. And be sure to check out to keep up with the latest industry news. Until next time, take care.

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