In today’s highly competitive world, more and more people are beginning to realise the intangible value of a confident smile in their personal and professional lives. As awareness grows, more adults and teenagers are now seeking orthodontic treatment when once braces were shunned. As the demand for invisible orthodontics has grown, so too has the demand for more discreet ways to move teeth. There are now more options than ever.
Why Lingual Braces
Of these options, lingual braces, which are braces fitted BEHIND the teeth, are the only truly invisible way to move teeth precisely and with good control. These braces are suitable for all teenagers and adults who want to straighten their teeth but do not want to be seen wearing braces.
There have been many recent advances in the field of lingual orthodontics, with the most important being the development of very precise, completely customised lingual braces. Of these completely customised lingual appliances, the WIN lingual brace system from DW Lingual Systems, Germany, is one that consistently produces the expected treatment results. Developed by a highly skilled and innovative team headed by Professor Dirk Wiechmann in Bad Essen, Germany, the advantages of WIN Lingual braces are as follows:
- Completely invisible
- Precise and predictable treatment results based on a lab set-up of treatment outcome (Pauls et.al. 2017)
- Improved comfort, with each bracket and archwire custom-made and designed to perfectly adapt to an individual’s teeth
- Suitable for simple and complex cases
- Engineered and made in Germany with precision manufacturing
Another plus point to having WIN lingual braces is that the damage which can sometimes occur due to poor tooth-brushing during orthodontic treatment tends to be less severe and less visible as compared to traditional braces that are fitted onto the front surfaces of teeth (Van der Veen et.al. 2010).
Once fitted, WIN lingual braces exert slow, gentle pressure onto the teeth to align them and move them accordingly so as to achieve the desired treatment results. Treatment times are generally the same as those with traditional braces, with most cases ranging from 12 to 24 months. Appointments are usually 4 to 6 weeks apart. Some complex cases may take longer.
When lingual braces are first fitted, there is some discomfort associated with them. Initially, ulcers occur on the tongue due the rubbing of the tongue against the braces. These disappear and reduce with time as the patient adapts to the lingual braces. WIN lingual braces are generally more comfortable and flatter than other lingual brace systems as they are well adapted to each tooth and are therefore not bulky. Orthodontic wax or silicone can be applied onto the braces to reduce the rubbing of the tongue against the braces during that initial adaptation period. Also, speech can be altered for a few weeks as the lingual braces encroach into the tongue space and also because the tongue will be contacting the braces instead of the teeth whilst talking. As with traditional braces, there will be some pressure on the teeth as they are moving and this will necessitate a soft diet whilst the patient adapts to the pressure. After a week or two, the discomfort disappears, the ulcers reduce and speech is very often back to normal.
It is never too late to have WIN lingual braces as long you have healthy teeth and gums. Therefore, visiting a WIN certified orthodontist for a consultation is a good place to start to explore your options and find out all you need to know before taking the plunge.
Our orthodontist, Dr. Jasprit Nirmal Singh, is currently the only orthodontist in the ANZ region to hold a Masters in Lingual Orthodontics from the University of Hannover in Germany.
1. Pauls A, Nienkemper M, Schwestka-Polly R et al (2017) Therapeutic accuracy of the completely customized lingual appliance WIN. J Orofacial Orthop 78: 52-61.
2. Van der Veen MH, Attin R, Schwestka-Polly R et al (2010) Caries outcomes after orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances: do lingual brackets make a difference? Eur J Oral Sci 118:298–303.