A New Frontier
Dr. Benjamin Cassalia’s invisible alternative to braces is changing the way people of all ages are getting their teeth straightened
by Daniel Sean Kaye

For crooked teeth, the options have always been slim. The road most traveled has typically involved traditional braces—a source of discomfort, embarrassment and frustration to teens and adults for decades.

Like many in his field, Benjamin Cassalia, D.M.D., M.S.D., wanted to make things easier and less stressful for his patients. He wanted to take the knowledge and experience he had amassed and somehow find a better solution. Then, about 17 years ago, Dr. Cassalia began to develop a procedure that would invisibly straighten teeth, without braces in a much more comfortable fashion than other available orthodontic techniques.

Thus was born “LingualWirelign®,” the name of which refers to the aligning of teeth via wires but without braces, invisibly bonding them behind the teeth (on the lingual, or tongue, side). Not one to rest on his laurels, Dr. Cassalia has spent years constantly updating and improving the procedure. He feels any limitations LingualWirelign® may have—as do other forms of aesthetic orthodontic treatments—must be improved and its applications expanded. “These limitations would hinder the treatment outcomes even of the experienced orthodontist, and I needed to overcome these limitations,” he says.

The result was Dr. Cassalia’s patent-pending ProWire™ orthodontic system. “This device would not only improve treatment outcomes of the LingualWirelign® procedure, but [also] those of removable aligner therapy,” he explains. Like the LingualWirelign® procedure, ProWire™ involves no braces, is completely invisible and is significantly more comfortable than traditional orthodontic systems.

“My goal was to have a treatment option for patients that achieves the usual benefits of traditional orthodontics but without the stigma of current available options,” he says. His vision: “a new era in aesthetic orthodontic treatment, a treatment option so unique that except for the obvious treatment result, they never appeared to have been in an orthodontic office,” he says.

As demand for such innovative treatment grew, the LingualWirelign® procedure became increasingly popular within Dr. Cassalia’s practice. Soon it was spreading across the country and abroad, with many potential patients and orthodontists from far and wide reaching out to Dr. Cassalia for more information. “I realized that I [had] developed a procedure never seen by the orthodontic profession,” he says.

This experience and the system developed led to the development of a new company, Wirelign® Orthodontics. The company is dedicated to the applications of the LingualWirelign® procedure, its related techniques, and the introduction of the ProWire™ system for doctors to learn and implement in their offices throughout the world.

Today, the ProWire™ system is undergoing clinical trials and will soon be available to the orthodontic market. “The newly public announcement, training and developments have required great teamwork,” says Dr. Cassalia, referring to Amanda M. Franks, D.M.D., and the rest of his Wirelign® Team. Dr. Franks, whom Cassalia describes as the only other doctor studied in the intricacies of the LingualWirelign® and ProWire™ system, has a very special connection with the process.  

“I was fortunate enough to be a patient of Dr. Cassalia’s as a teen, and it was my positive experience at his office that drove me toward the dental field,” says Dr. Franks. “The summer after my sophomore year in college I began working as a chair-side assistant at Dr. C’s and continued to work in this position during my school breaks through college and dental school.”

During that time, Dr. Franks became very familiar with the LingualWirelign® technique. “I had the opportunity to return to Dr. Cassalia’s office in 2012 and apply my clinical skills and knowledge of the procedure to help accommodate for the increased demand,” she says.

More Support
“The procedure is simple, effective and requires no patient compliance,” says Lisa Banning, D.M.D., M.S.D., who runs an orthodontics practice in Tamaqua, Schuylkill County. “[You] never get the call that I lost or broke my aligner or my brace came off.” She adds that the product is aesthetically superior to other options and can be less of a financial burden. “[It’s also] ideal for cases of relapse from previous orthodontic treatment or [for] patients that just need minor tooth movement,” she says.

“I learned the procedure because I think there is a large group of underserved patients that would greatly benefit from this treatment,” Dr. Banning continues. These include college-age students, people in their middle-age years and those in high profile positions—none of whom want to be seen using a visible appliance. “It fills a gap that was never filled before by any other appliance,” she says.

“I like that this procedure causes minimal changes in the patient’s lifestyle,” adds Michele A. Bernardich, D.M.D., M.S.D., with offices in Allentown and Northampton. “They can eat whatever they want. They just go about their daily routine. There is no need to think about taking aligners in and out or worrying about how long they have worn the aligners.” The only restriction, she says, is that patients cannot floss.

“This procedure is different in that other people do not even realize that you are straightening your teeth,” says Dr. Bernardich. “The small wires are bonded on the backs of the teeth. They are virtually invisible to others. Since one doesn’t have to remove anything prior to eating, there is nothing conspicuous about the procedure. Also, food does not get visibly stuck in the wires as can often happen with braces,” she says.

Dr. Bernardich learned the system because she likes to be informed about all new procedures so that she can provide her patients with as many options as possible. “This option is for cases with minor crowding or relapse from prior orthodontic treatment,” she says. “This is a fabulous procedure for someone who has nice occlusion but minor crowding of teeth. It is a great option since it usually only takes a few appointments and is very inconspicuous.”

Removing the Burden
“When people think of straightening their teeth, they think of painful braces and unattractive appliances. They’re just not interested,” says Dr. Cassalia. “With LingualWirelign® and ProWire™ system, they walk out of the office like nothing’s there. They can barely feel it. Once we do the procedure, their life doesn’t change. It’s simple, affordable and easy to use. The LingualWirelign® procedure is not a full treatment approach. It is not designed to replace the need of full orthodontic treatment; braces or aligner therapy.”

Within a year—and in some cases just a few months—the system is removed and patients are left with healthier, straighter teeth. More than that, perhaps, they are left with a positive experience, no longer burdened by the discomfort, embarrassment and frustration of the braces of yesteryear.

Benjamin Cassalia, D.M.D., M.S.D.
308 N Main Street
Chalfont, PA 18914

Photography by Rob Hall