What are Lingual Braces?
After making the decision to get braces, the first question that needs to be addressed is which type of braces best suit the patient’s needs, wishes, and eligibility. Some types of braces may simply not be suitable for certain types of orthodontic conditions. For patients who are eligible, lingual braces may be a viable alternative to traditional braces. Lingual braces provide the special benefit of being adhered to the back of the teeth, as opposed to traditional braces which are adhered to the front. As a result, lingual braces patients can experience the benefits of more discreet orthodontic treatment.
How Lingual Braces Work
Lingual braces essentially have the same components and function as traditional metal and ceramic braces that are adhered to the front of the teeth. This means that lingual braces also feature a “wire and bracket” system. Small metal brackets are bonded to the back of each tooth. Then, a special wire is attached to each bracket, running the span of the entire row of teeth. The wire can be tightened and adjusted according to the orthodontist’s plans, allowing for optimal control of the shifting of the teeth.
Benefits of Lingual Braces
The main benefit of lingual braces is that they are essentially “invisible” to others due to their placement on the back of the teeth. For this reason, lingual braces are ideal for adults or other orthodontic patients who may wish to have a more discreet and less noticeable orthodontic treatment process. Lingual braces are especially beneficial for these patients, as they are typically more effective than other types of less-noticeable braces, such as Invisalign and other invisible braces systems.
Lingual Braces vs. Invisalign
Furthermore, lingual braces can help to correct more severe dental issues that may make patients ineligible to receive Invisalign and other invisible braces systems that don’t use the traditional wire and bracket approach. For example, patients with severely crooked teeth or bite issues may not be eligible to receive invisalign, but they may be eligible to receive lingual braces.
Lingual Braces Considerations
Before deciding to receive lingual braces, orthodontic patients should consider the potential disadvantages of lingual braces. Due to the less accessible placement, lingual braces generally require more maintenance to ensure that all food particles and bacteria are thoroughly and routinely removed. If patients fail to maintain this high level of dental hygiene, they may face an increased risk of dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and periodontal disease.
Dr. Randy Gittess – Winter Springs, FL
Randy Gittess graduated from Medical College of Virginia in Richmond to become a Doctor of Dental Sergury and later discovered his passion for orthodontics and went on to specialize in Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia where he received his certificate in orthodontics. Dr. Gittess is also Certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, a special distinction among orthodontists.