Especially demanding adult patients often do not accept orthodontic braces attached to the front of their teeth that are visible speaking. The lingual method can fulfill the wish to look good during the treatment. Lingual braces are really the only completely invisible treatment method as the removable aligners are not completely invisible.
In order to allow these patients an orthodontic treatment, orthodontists in the USA have started utilizing completely invisible braces attached to the backside of the teeth around 1975. By that time the results were not always encouraging as the appliances were not matured and a solid training in the complicated technique was lacking.
Since 2004, the new, extremely flat and comfortable incognito-braces have been available. This kind of braces has solved almost all the problems of the older lingual braces. There are hardly any speech problems, few limitations to convenience, and very few broken brackets.
I have studied the lingual technique systematically. In 1999, I participated in the annual program at Dr. Fillion’s in Paris who used to be one of the most experienced lingual-orthodontists and offered an excellent further training program. I learned the incognito-technique, which I utilized even be-fore its market launch, at Dr. Wiechmann from Bad Essen. Meanwhile, Dr. Wiechmann has probably become the orthodontist with the most lingual treatments worldwide. For my further training, I participated in his courses and assisted in his office two times for a whole day.
Most tooth irregularities can be treated with the lingual method achieving excellent results. There are practically no technical limitations as there are with the aligners. However, there are little more comfort problems compared to regular, front-side attached braces, but after a phase of adaption adults do usually not have any problems with the lingual braces. The treatment times are 10 percent longer in my office but the results are equally good in quality.
One remaining disadvantage is the remarkably higher cost compared to the standard appliance. While we usually work with the world’s leading incognito-braces, we utilize other types of lingual brackets for smaller, simple treatments from time to time. I can have these positioned at our dental technician’s in Mannheim, while other orthodontists are dependent on distant, specialized dental laboratories. This allows us even more flexibility with smaller treatments.
In 2004, I published a comprehensive article in a dental professionals’ magazine about the lingual method which still renders the latest standard today (German language).