Malformations in the structure of teeth is not an uncommon phenomenon. According to a survey, nearly 40% of the UK population is not satisfied with their teeth, and the majority of the people are looking forward to some form of cosmetic dental manipulation.
Considering the implications of dental malformations on the lives of people, dental science is evolving to come up with new and enhanced ways to help people improve their smile and regain their self-esteem. Now it is possible to correct your dental issues without anyone even making out the difference between your natural teeth and the restoration used. Cosmetic dentistry is, therefore, becoming popular at an impressive rate.
Crooked and uneven teeth, which are the most commonly faced problem, were traditionally corrected using metallic braces. But now, there are a myriad of brace options that allow straightening of the teeth in a cosmetically acceptable way.
What are lingual braces?
Lingual braces are the orthodontic treatment appliances that help in the straightening of your teeth without being visible. Unlike the traditional metallic braces, which are attached to the front surface of your teeth, lingual braces are fixed on the back or inner side of the teeth, making them almost invisible from outside. They provide support to your teeth from behind and gradually straighten them. The components of lingual braces are the same as those of traditional braces. They include- brackets, bands, archwires, active coil, and intermaxillary elastics. These are fixed to the teeth with the help of bonding cement.
Which are the most common commercially available lingual braces?
The most common lingual braces in use are known as Incognito™. These are prepared using the CAD/CAM technology, and the brackets and braces are custom made according to the patient’s lingual tooth surface. Other commercially available lingual braces are BRIUS®, Suresmile®, and ibraces™.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of lingual braces?
- Nearly invisible: The lingual braces are placed behind the teeth so they will not be visible while you usually talk. This will allow the straightening of teeth in those who don’t want traditional braces and exhibit a metallic glint whenever they open their mouths.
- Better compliance: The lingual braces are fixed, and you don’t have to worry about wearing them or removing them for specific hours in a day. You don’t require frequent changes in the braces or visits to the dentist. They stay in place and keep straightening your teeth throughout.
- Perfect fit: The new lingual braces are custom made as per the structure of your mouth. Incognito® braces are manufactured via CAD/CAM technology, which provides the perfect design. So, the braces will perfectly fit behind your teeth.
- Lesser staining: While wearing traditional braces, you may stain your teeth and braces by eating or drinking inappropriate things. There will be a problem of staining with lingual braces, and even if they get stained, it won’t have any cosmetic implications.
- Treat mild to complicated orthodontic problems: Lingual braces are perfect for correcting severely crooked teeth, overcrowded teeth, and bite abnormalities.
- Pain and discomfort initially: You may feel pain and discomfort in the initial few days after treatment because whenever you speak, your tongue will be touching the metallic braces. However, your mouth will eventually adapt, and this problem will face away.
- Temporary lisp: Lisp or speech abnormalities may occur after wearing lingual braces. When you speak, your tongue comes in contact with the back of your teeth to produce a particular sound. If you are wearing lingual braces, these will serve as an obstacle to speech production. However, this is only temporary, and you will adapt to the presence of braces in your mouth with time.
- Long treatment time: Lingual braces take a longer time to straighten your teeth as compared to other teeth aligners. This is because the lingual braces work by “pull” action, which is more difficult than the “push” action of braces, which are placed in front of the teeth.
- Difficulty in maintenance and cleaning
Who is a suitable candidate for lingual braces?
To know if you are suitable for lingual braces or not, consult your dentist who will meticulously examine your mouth and teeth and then will let you know about the same. Everyone cannot go for lingual braces. People who have deep underbites are not recommended to use lingual braces as they may injure the soft tissues of their mouths. The braces may also break very frequently because of the excessive pressure.
Healthy periodontal tissue is also a prerequisite for lingual braces. So, if you are suffering from any periodontal disease such as gingivitis (inflamed gums), lingual braces are not for you.
Lingual braces are good for adults but cannot be used in children because their teeth are short and sufficient room is not available to glue the braces behind the teeth.
How to care for your teeth with lingual braces?
The key to the longevity of any oral appliances is good oral care. You don’t have to take extra special care for braces. Instead, you have to follow your routine oral hygiene regimen strictly and modify it to take care of your braces as well. Good oral hygiene is indispensable to prevent gum disease or tooth decay, which can contribute to the loosening of the lingual braces and discomfort.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a good fluoride toothpaste. Always rinse your mouth after every meal to remove any food particles that may have got stuck in your teeth. Flossing your teeth daily is also essential. If you keep these small things into consideration, your teeth will stay healthy and strong throughout.
What are the alternatives to lingual braces?
If you want to straighten your crooked and uneven teeth without anyone noticing, there are plenty of clear teeth aligners options available. Clear braces for adults include
Clear Ceramic braces: These are comparable to traditional braces in function as well structure; the only difference is that they are made up of ceramic, and their colour matches the colour of your teeth, so they are indistinguishable.
Invisalign braces: Invisalign clear aligners are amongst the most popular choices of clear braces. They consist of a series of transparent aligners custom made according to your teeth and gradually straighten your teeth. You move on from one set to another over time. These are removable and transparent.
Are lingual braces better than Invisalign aligners?
Better is a relative term and whatever goes with your needs appropriately is the best for you. Invisalign clear braces have some clear advantages over Lingual braces because they are transparent and removable. But as per cost-benefit is considered, lingual braces are more affordable than Invisalign. In terms of action and effectiveness, both of them are equally effective in straightening crooked teeth.
It would be best to visit an expert because not every dentist is skilled in placing lingual braces. If you are looking for an orthodontist, then Conway House Dental Practice in High Wycombe should be your ideal destination. You can get all your dental issues handled under one roof from a team of friendly and professional dentists. Book an appointment today.