Lingual braces take its name from “lingual” meaning the tongue. In a layman's language lingual dental braces are braces behind teeth. Lingual dental braces unlike the conventional braces offer a unique level of discreteness to straighten the teeth which is considered to be its biggest advantage. They are composed of small brackets and arch wires that are connected to the back of the teeth next to the tongue and therefore are invisible. There are like other braces and are custom-made to fit the individual bite of the patient.
Lingual braces were first developed in the 1980’s in California and gained global popularity, especially for those patients who do not want visible braces i.e. mostly celebrities.
These are mostly used for adults but can be used from mid-teens as well. Not all dentists undertake treatment with lingual braces but the numbers are growing now.
These braces are custom-made and mostly fitted in two visits. On the patients first visit an impression is taken of their teeth in order to create the foundations for their custom-made set of braces. On the second visit the dentist would attach the arch wire to complete the application.
Lingual Braces are used to treat a variety of problems including gaps between the teeth, bad bite, rotated teeth, crowding and several others.
Advantages of Lingual Braces
It is an alternative to the conventional braces and cannot be seen by others.
The patient can effectively maintain and clean their teeth because they are attached to the back of the teeth.
Lingual braces are fixed which means that the patient will not need to take them out for cleaning
Disadvantages of Lingual Braces
Manufacturing, application, and management are costly compared to the traditional braces.
Some patients require a longer period of time to feel comfortable with these braces i.e. they may find it difficult to clean their teeth, swallow, chew, and talk. This also could affect those who play a sport or a music instrument.
Usual duration of treatment is one to three years but it may vary from case to case.
The braces are not considered to be suitable for all types of bites