Lingual Braces (Inner Braces) Treatment
Lingual braces are a popular teeth-straightening treatment. Most people prefer these braces as they are practically invisible. The main difference between lingual braces and traditional braces is their placement.
Lingual braces are placed at the back of the teeth, facing the tongue, rather than the front teeth, which is the standard form of traditional braces. Their placement allows for a more discreet option for orthodontic patients who are not comfortable showing off their braces and for those who don’t want to wear traditional braces for a long time.
How do Lingual Braces Work?
To ensure your braces stay concealed, they need to be attached to the inner side of your teeth to make them invisible whenever you talk or smile. The braces are tailored for your teeth, allowing them to move into position gradually.
How Lingual Braces are Made & Placed
The orthodontist starts by taking an accurate digital scan or impression of your teeth. This impression is used to create customised brackets and wires that comfortably fit the shape and position of your natural teeth. The impression is sent to a lab that uses sophisticated technology to design your braces.
During your second appointment, your orthodontist cements the customised brackets onto your teeth, followed by an archwire, which is attached to the brackets.
Since these brackets are custom made, the dentist only applies a thin layer of cement, meaning that they don’t stick out from your teeth as much. The technology used to apply lingual braces is more advanced than that of regular braces, and it comes with many additional advantages. The application process is used in robots, CAD/CAM manufacturing, and 3D printing.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Lingual Appliances?
Although most patients qualify for these braces, they are not suitable for everyone. Some of the best candidates for lingual braces include people with regular sized teeth. Children tend to have smaller teeth, meaning that lingual braces are not suitable for them. Also, patients with a vertical overbite are not great candidates for lingual braces as their bite makes it difficult to place the braces.
Advantages of Lingual Braces
Removes Stigma of Adults Wearing Braces
One of the main benefits of having lingual braces is its ability to be more discreet when correcting teeth. This is especially useful for adults who feel that wearing bulky metal braces for years is not the ideal option in professional and social situations.
Since the metal used in lingual orthodontics is usually on the back of the teeth, patients can comfortably smile and talk without worrying about someone noticing the braces on their teeth.
Watch as Your Teeth Take Their Place
With lingual braces, you get a chance to see your teeth become aligned. Although it is possible to see how your teeth are taking shape with traditional orthodontics, some patients find it hard to look around the brackets and wire and picture what their teeth would look like after treatment.
Provides Precise, Predictable, and Individualised Outcome
According to the European Journal of Orthodontics, lingual braces provide positive results, especially on the achievement of individualised treatment goals (1).
Disadvantages of Lingual Braces
Although lingual braces are an attractive option for many adult clients, it is important to understand that you may experience some minor discomfort until you get used to them, including;
Lingual braces can cause some difficulties with speech, especially for first-time wearers. Since these braces are placed on the backside of your teeth, speaking might feel unusual at first. This is because where your tongue usually sits is taken over by the braces resulting in a lisp.
Your “S” sound might become “TH”, and it might take some time getting used to them.
Rubber Bands with Lingual Braces
In some instances, these braces might require the use of elastic bands to reposition your teeth. To ensure your treatment stays on track, you will need to follow your orthodontist’s directions, and wear the bands as instructed.
Lingual Braces and Teeth Cleaning
It will take some time to learn how to properly brush your teeth with lingual braces on. This is made even harder by the fact that you will not be able to see what it is exactly you are doing. However, after brushing for a while, you will adapt and manage proper cleaning.
Eating and Drinking with Lingual Braces
The early days after lingual braces installation can make eating and drinking a challenging task. Some food might get stuck in the braces, meaning you will need to make some minor adjustments to your diet. Some foods might also cause the wire to break. Demineralisation or decay is also possible if the teeth are not brushed properly.
Cost of Lingual Braces
Lingual braces cost a lot more than traditional metal braces. This is mainly because they are an entirely customised solution to fit your teeth. This treatment also requires frequent visits to the orthodontist, thereby increasing the cost.
Alternative Concealed Braces
Although traditional braces are generally recommended for patients who require extensive treatment, there are other more subtle concealed braces.
Depending on your case, you might be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment, which uses a series of clear aligners that help you gradually reposition your teeth over time. These trays can be removed when eating and brushing but should be worn at all other times of the day. If you are not keen about putting them back on, the end results might not be as good as it would have been with traditional metal braces. Ideally, Invisalign aligners must be worn for two weeks and at least 22 hours per day to work effectively.
These braces work just like traditional metal braces, only that in this case, we use tooth-coloured or clear ceramic brackets and tooth-coloured wires for a less visible appearance. Although these braces are just as effective as metal braces, ceramic is more delicate and prone to breaking or damage.
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Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.