The smile had left Barbara Coulon’s face.
Dental braces had corrected her crooked teeth when she was a child. But as the years moved on, so, too, did her teeth. As they shifted, the 53-year-old Chalfont woman shifted in her seat, dreading the thought of being refitted for braces as an adult.
Compounding her dilemma was the issue of finances, as her teenage daughter was also about to be fitted for braces.
And then last September she learned about a Chalfont-based orthodontist, Dr. Benjamin A. Cassalia, and his revolutionary LingualWirelign, a concept he introduced more than 15 years ago to straighten teeth without the use and cost of traditional braces.
“When I met with Dr. Cassalia and he explained LingualWirelign to me, I thought, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for,” Coulon says.
And when she did, the smile instantly returned to her face.
Dr. Cassalia’s LingualWirelign technique consists of the strategic bonding of thin, super-elastic, nickel titanium wires to the back, or lingual side, of the teeth. The procedure, which takes about 30 minutes to complete, doesn’t involve brackets used with traditional braces. The wires are designed to apply slight pressure to move and properly align the teeth, resulting in a dazzling smile and a boost in self-esteem.
“This is a great way to create a beautiful smile for patients in a comfortable, invisible way,” Dr. Cassalia says. “I need to stress that LingualWirelign isn’t a replacement for full orthodontic treatment. It is used for patients who had previous orthodontic treatment and their teeth have shifted over time because they didn’t wear their retainers adequately, or if they always had a few crooked teeth that need to be straightened. The procedure can also be used to supplement tooth movement with other forms of aesthetic orthodontic treatment systems such as Invisalign or lingual braces.”
The idea for LingualWirelign came to Dr. Cassalia in a dream. He had worn braces while at Temple University School of Dentistry, but as he reached his mid-30s he found his top teeth had begun to shift, moving him to contemplate wearing braces again to address the problem.
“Then I had this dream of bonding wires directly to the teeth,” he says. “I had my assistant put the wires behind my teeth and within a couple of weeks they moved back into their aligned position. The technology of the wires is what makes this technique possible. Their super-elastic property allows us to easily place and activate the wires directly on the teeth. Over the years we worked on perfecting the technique and found that utilizing thinner wires gave use more control and were just as effective.
“I couldn’t believe this procedure hadn’t been thought of until I did.”
Also among the benefits of LingualWirelign is the reduction of eating restrictions as well as a reduction in potential speech difficulties commonly present when wearing traditional braces and lingual braces.
Before Dr. Cassalia begins the LingualWirelign procedure, he conducts a 45-minute review of the patient’s complete dental and medical history, and discusses the range of orthodontic options available to them. During the second visit and after the treatment option is finalized, X-rays and molds are collected to ensure the desired outcome for a flawless smile.
Another patient of Dr. Cassalia’s, Alexa Borghi, found LingualWirelign to be the ideal way to correct light imperfections in her teeth.
“I’m thrilled to have found such an effortless and aesthetically pleasing solution,” she says. “The procedure was painless, quick and permanent. Because the wires are behind the teeth, they’re invisible, and I’ve had no problems eating or flossing.”
While Dr. Cassalia’s patients have been benefiting from LingualWirelign for several years, he has begun training other orthodontists in the application of the procedure.
“What we’re doing with this technique is taking it to the next level,” says Dr. Cassalia, who has trademarked the LingualWirelign name. “We’re planning future seminars where they can learn the procedure and use it in their own practice. We’re opening our doors to other practitioners to learn. We invite them to call us if they’re interested in learning about LingualWirelign.
“We’re hearing from a lot of orthodontists who say that many people seem to be holding off from correcting their teeth from an economical standpoint,” he continues. “They say people are holding off on treatment because they can’t afford the price of braces or other orthodontic care but would consider alternative limited treatment options. As for us, LingualWirelign seems to be the option patients were searching for. A couple of years ago we decided to get the word out about LingualWirelign and I couldn’t believe how far patients were willing to travel for this procedure. As a result our office has been more successful the past two years than ever before. Our patients come away extremely satisfied.”
Coulon is among them.
“Dr. Cassalia sold me on it right away,” she says. “The creative method he has to straighten teeth is more affordable and quicker than braces or other things. He put the wires behind my teeth in September, and by December my teeth were already looking straighter. By March, there was a substantial difference.
“He has an unbelievable personality. I’m a little crazy when I sit in a dentist’s chair, but he had a soothing way to calm me down. I didn’t feel like I was being rushed, and he explained everything to me every step of the way. I can’t imagine having gone to anyone else. I haven’t stopped telling people how wonderful he was.”
She hasn’t stopped smiling either.
Phil Gianficaro is an award-winning writer based in Doylestown.
Rob Hall is a photographer from Plumsteadville.
Benjamin A. Cassalia, D.M.D., P.C.
Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
308 N. Main Street, Suite B-100
Chalfont, PA 18914
Cedar Ridge Orthodontics
712 Geigel Hill Road
Ottsville, PA 18942