Invisible Appliances – Lingual Orthodontics
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.
People even made fun of it: “invisible appliance – invisible results!” After more than 40 years of continuous development of lingual braces, fortunately things look quite different today, so that lingual technology is a fully-fledged alternative to conventional fixed braces.
Incognito and WIN – individualised Lingual Technique
Since 2004, the new, extremely flat and comfortable Incognito appliances have been available. Incognito was developed by D. Wiechmann, who later sold Incognito to the 3M Group and then launched the lingual WIN-Bracket. Thanks to the individualised, yet precise and mechanically resilient design of Incognito and WIN 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.
In our practice in Mannheim we have been working exclusively with WIN-Brackets, but can perform treatments with all other common systems.
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. The first treatments with lingual technology in our practice were all performed with the ORMCO 7th generation appliances. We learned to handle the Incognito appliances, which we had used as beta testers even before its market launch, with the support of Dr. Wiechmann from Bad Essen. Meanwhile, Dr. Wiechmann has probably become the orthodontist with the most lingual treatments worldwide. For further training, Dr. Jauch, Dr. Hadsel and me participated in his courses and assisted in his office.
Our team of orthodontists knows that most tooth irregularities can be treated with the lingual method achieving excellent results. There are practically no technical limitations as there are with the removable, transparent Invisalign 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 20 percent longer in my office in Mannheim than with visible fixed braces but the results are equally good in quality.
The costs for orthodontic treatment with lingual technology in our practice in Mannheim are 50-60% higher than with conventional technology using visible brackets. The additional costs are usually not covered by any insurance, including private health insurance. In our practice in Mannheim, however, we also offer payment by instalments, which can make treatment affordable again.
You can find more information about lingual orthodontics on www.lingualtechnik.de , www.dglo.de, www.lingualsystems.de.