Shocked by the Shark –The Remarkable Journey of New Lingual Appliances
In 1998, my good friend, Dr. Takemoto, told me about a new straight wire lingual bracket he was going to develop. At that time, I personally didn’t think it was such a good idea. In fact, I thought it would be impossible to construct and additionally, would not provide a practical approach. How he has proved me wrong!
For those of you unfamiliar with these braces, you may think that they can only be used to solve very easy cases. If so, I think you will be ‘shocked by the Shark’ and I suggest that you start reading this edition on p.108, to see just how effective this revolutionary design can be. For 18 years, Dr. Takemoto invested blood, sweat and tears in his design. Finally, after numerous clinical trials his appliance was launched in partnership with Dr. Scuzzo earlier this year. Whole new revolutionary straight wire lingual braces are now here!!
There are 3 reasons why his new brackets are so remarkable. Firstly, as the name suggests, the braces use a straight wire. Secondly, they are also self-ligating. Thirdly, the wire slot is square, not rectangular. With availability of new high-tech soft wires, full engagement of full size wires are now possible. This is a radical change, which I believe could replace the Edgewise, the orthodontic standard, designed by Dr. Angle way back in 1924.
To invent something like this can take so long, 18 years in fact! Hats off to Dr. Takemoto. He has achieved his goal! What makes it even more amazing are the three revolutionary features in one bracket, which make it so powerful, so easy to use and so comfortable for patients. I am amazed at how one man can be so innovative to create something which most people either dismiss or seriously doubt to be possible. I hope that when you use these braces in your practice, you will truly appreciate how much one man’s passion can help you and your patients to enjoy the rewards of his endeavours. I encourage you to try them, and as like me, I feel you will be ‘shocked’ by the results.
I can only hope that some of us can aspire to emulate these remarkable lingual masters such as Drs. Takemoto and Scuzzo (Inventor of digital setup for Alias), and allow orthodontists to continue along this revolutionary path to glory. We should never give up on our aspirations. As the great golfer Arnold Palmer once said, “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they can’t be done.”
Chris Chang DDS, PhD, IJOI Publisher.