What are Lingual Braces? Unlike conventional braces, lingual braces are fitted on the inside of the teeth, making them invisible. For adults interested in straightening their teeth without others noticing, they are ideal. Every tooth is connected by a wire that is attached to custom-formed brackets. In order to provide proper treatment, orthodontists need specialized training in order to provide the custom fitting brackets. Lingual braces allow patients to maintain a natural smile while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Lingual braces are almost invisible because they are hidden by the teeth. This is an excellent cosmetic option for individuals who want to have their teeth straightened with it being obvious they are wearing braces. The process begins when an impression of the teeth is taken. This is necessary for the creation of customized brackets. The process generally requires six weeks. The skill of the orthodontist is imperative for cementing the braces onto the back of the teeth. Both experience and training are required to achieve optimal results.
What Are the Teeth Problems that Need Lingual Braces Treatment?
One of the most frequently asked questions is what are the teeth problems that need lingual braces treatment? An orthodontist will recommend lingual braces for the treatment of a wide assortment of issues. This includes crowded teeth, crooked teeth, underbites, overbites and incorrect positioning of the jaw. In some cases, braces are used for the correction of the individual’s appearance. If these issues are not treated by a skilled orthodontist, the result may be gum disease, tooth decay, earaches, headaches, chewing or biting problems and difficulty speaking properly.
Lingual braces work similarly like traditional braces. They apply continuous yet gentle pressure on the patient’s teeth. This enables the teeth to slowly move into the correct positions. Depending on how severe of an issue is being treated, the braces are usually worn between eighteen and 36 months. Oral hygiene is extremely important during this time due to the plaque and particles of food that may become trapped. These can be removed by brushing and flossing after every meal. A mirror can be used to ensure the teeth are clean.
To ensure healthy teeth and gums, the teeth should be professionally cleaned every six months. This will prevent the enamel of the teeth from becoming stained around the brackets. There are also different brands and types of lingual braces available. All of them work in the same fashion but there are differences in the ways the braces are secured and attached to the back of the teeth. There are archwires and brackets attached to each tooth. The best way to find out if lingual braces are a good option is to have the teeth checked with an experienced orthodontist.
Is There an Age Limit for Lingual Braces Treatment?
There are a lot of individuals who are wondering is there an age limit for lingual braces treatment? Lingual braces are a great choice for children, teenagers, and adults. No age will make an individual unsuitable for lingual braces. The only condition is the patient must have healthy gums and bones.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Lingual Braces
Just like traditional braces, there are advantages and disadvantages to lingual braces. The advantages include:
- The braces are attached to the backside of the teeth. This means nobody will know the individual is wearing braces. Lingual braces are exceptionally discreet. Although they are not invisible, they are considered to be the next best thing. The placement ensures the metal brackets and wires remain hidden. Numerous individuals have completed their treatment without anyone ever realizing they were wearing braces.
- Lingual braces are not painful. At worst, there may be a little discomfort when the braces are first attached. This will disappear in a fairly short period. Lingual braces do not cause the pain often associated with traditional metal braces due to their positioning in the mouth.
- The brackets used for lingual braces are an advantage because the aligning process for the teeth is much easier. Since the brackets are self-linked, there are not as many adjustments necessary. This means fewer visits to the orthodontist as opposed to traditional metal braces.
- Lingual braces are a type of fixed braces. They remain attached to the teeth during the duration of the treatment. This means the teeth are always being straightened. Since the braces are not removable, the patient does not need to be concerned regarding the number of hours they must be worn each day. It is also not possible to lose lingual braces. As opposed to the removable aligners, lingual braces do not need to be taken out every time the individual drinks or eats.
- The newest lingual braces available offer custom-made brackets. The brackets provide the ideal fit for the teeth. This provides the orthodontist with exceptional control so precise movements can be achieved. A wide variety of issues can be treated with lingual braces such as an improper bite, spacing issues, and extremely crowded teeth. Lingual braces are also an excellent option for simpler issues as well. There are even lingual braces created specifically for straightening the front teeth.
Despite all of the advantages detailed above, there are also some disadvantages to lingual braces. This includes:
- The cost of lingual braces is higher than clear aligners and traditional braces. This is because the cost of the actual braces is more expensive. This is especially true if the braces are gold or custom-made. Clinicians are required by orthodontists. They must undergo training to learn the proper techniques. Since it is a little more difficult to access lingual braces, adjusting the braces requires additional time.
- There is not a lot of extra room in the back of the teeth. This means despite the excellent design of the braces, there will be some soreness during the first week. The tongue may also become irritated. The orthodontist will provide special wax to place over the areas of the braces causing discomfort. This will help prevent any rubbing.
- The development of a lisp is possible right after lingual braces have been attached. This should disappear within a few days. Talking will help the lisp go away much faster.
The benefits of lingual braces include reduced pain and fewer orthodontic appointments. Although they are more expensive, they can be uncomfortable during the adjustment period. The pros and cons of lingual braces should be considered before making a decision. In order to determine the best options for a particular situation, it is helpful to consult with a professional orthodontist.
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Baxter, MN 56425
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.