Today, there are different options available to those who go on a quest for straight teeth. There are several different types of braces on the market, including the option of invisible braces that are worn behind the teeth. Another term for this type of braces is lingual braces and they’re invisible!
How They Work
Lingual braces are fitted behind the teeth, by the palate and the tongue. This means the metalwork is largely concealed, as opposed to the more traditional way of wearing braces on the front of teeth.
Lingual braces have a distinct advantage in terms of the cosmetic appearance of teeth during the brace-wearing process. Invisible braces are a real alternative for anyone who wants to achieve straight teeth without having their braces on display.
The initial process to prepare for lingual braces is similar to the process for other types of braces. It involves the orthodontist taking an impression of the teeth as well as x-rays and photographs of the mouth and jaw. All of this information is sent to a specialist dental laboratory, where custom brackets and fittings are specially designed for the wearer.
The design phase for lingual braces can take up to 6 weeks. After this, the orthodontist will be able to apply their specialist technique to fit these intricate braces to the back part of both upper and lower sets of teeth. The cost of the specialist materials needed for lingual braces is quite high, since each tooth has its own individual brackets and archwires.
Fitting these braces is a highly skilled job and not all orthodontists will be able to offer this service. This is largely because of the training and technical requirements that need to be fulfilled.
How Long It Takes
Lingual braces work in just the same way as traditional braces. They apply gentle, continuous pressure which encourages the teeth to move into the desired position. The duration of the treatment depends on the severity of the problem of the teeth being overcrowded and/or not straight can this can take anywhere from 18-36 months.
There are different brands of lingual braces available and the choice will depend on individual preferences and recommendations from the orthodontist. All braces behind the teeth work in the same way, regardless of the dental laboratory they come from.
Reap the Rewards
With any orthodontic appliance, it’s important to keep excellent oral hygiene including regular brushing and flossing. Lingual braces, like any braces, can cause slight irritation to the gums and tongue when fist fitted and can sometimes slightly affect speech. Any discomfort from lingual braces can be eased with dental wax.
Wearers usually adjust within a matter of a few days to the new structure in their mouths and this temporary inconvenience is short-lived, whilst the benefits of beautiful, straight teeth are reaped over the course of a whole lifetime.