Wednesday, 5 August 2020

What are Lingual Braces, how do they work and who are they for?

The lingual surface is that side of the teeth facing the tongue and lingual braces are braces similar to normal metal braces but attach to the back of the teeth. Because they are on the inside they are not easily visible from the outside.
 

They were first developed in 1975 by Craven Kurz and Jim Mulick of the USA and the first patient was treated in 1976. 
    
They consist of small arch wires, metal brackets and elastic bands and work very much like normal braces, but from the inside. They exert a constant pressure that gently but gradually straightens the teeth. It can help in preventing overbite, gaps, crowding and rotated teeth.They have to be custom made as each person’s teeth alignment is different. This is done by first getting an accurate impression or more commonly these days, with a digital scan and the wires and brackets are customised accordingly to comfortably fit behind the teeth. 
    
They, however, are not for everyone; even though they work just as efficiently as normal braces.And the only way to know is consult with an orthodontist.
    
What are the advantages?
   
 a. Because they are customized to each person, their comfort and efficiency can be maximised.
 b. They are just as effective and normal metal braces.
 c. As they are behind the teeth, they are virtually invisible and thus do not affect a person’s looks.
   
 What are the disadvantages?
   
 a. The time they take for the effects to show up is much, much longer than normal braces.
 b. They can cause considerable discomfort in the beginning.
 c. It may cause the wearer to speak with a lisp, i.e. is to speak imperfectly or being unable to vocalise words properly.
 d. Last, but not the least, they are very expensive.
 

Lingual braces are a good option, if you must have braces but do not want them to be visible. But, the best way to find out if you should get one is to consult with an orthodontist.

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Blog reviewed by: Dr K N Trivikram Rao
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