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Will Lingual Mechanics Turn Orthodontics Outside-In?

Will Lingual Mechanics Turn Orthodontics Outside-In?

Lingual arch mechanics have been with us for a long time, but we are about to see something of a revival. As the article on page 255 points out, this has come about with the advent of bonding, low modulus archwires, and the interest on the part of several orthodontists and companies in the industry in developing suitable attachments, and techniques for bonding these attachments and for controlling tooth movement from the lingual. This development has been going on for at least five years, and those 'involved have shown great restraint in not "going public" with the idea prematurely. There is evidence from treated cases that they are close to a marketable system.

The obvious advantage of a fully bracketed lingual appliance is that it cannot readily be seen from the outside, while performing controlled tooth movements in all planes of space and in all directions. The original lingual arch was also not readily visible and, in the hands of a skillful operator, was capable of performing a variety of tooth movements, albeit with some limitations.

It seems likely that the concept of "invisible braces" is going to be attractive to numbers of people who would not accept visible appliances. As such, the new lingual appliances are a marketing tool to that segment of the population and a service that orthodontists ought to be prepared to render. There apparently has not been the increase in adult orthodontic patients that was anticipated following the decline in the child population. One suspects that this was due to the fact that most orthodontists did not want to encourage adult patients, or did not find ways to encourage more adults, or because adults are still generally unaware that orthodontic treatment can be performed for adults. Publicity for "invisible braces" may well catch the eye and the imagination of many adults, who may be expected to come to the orthodontic office seeking "invisible braces" Will you be able to accommodate them?



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