Today, there are a whole host of cosmetic dental treatments available that will help you to achieve the perfect smile, including lingual braces! But, with so many different techniques available, how can you possibly know which option will be best for you? The best approach is to visit your dentist and discuss the options available, based on what you would like to achieve.
And, before you go, it’s always helpful to look into some of the options, so you can gain an understanding about what might work for you and the process involved. So, we’ve put together some key information about lingual braces to give you an insight into what they are and what they can do…
What are lingual braces?
Treatment is similar to traditional, metal braces, only the brackets and wires sit on the inside of your teeth – making them practically invisible (unless you open your mouth extremely wide!). A great solution for closing gaps, correcting crooked teeth, and even solving more complex issues, lingual braces can help you to be truly happy with your smile!
How do they work?
If you decide to have lingual orthodontic treatment, your dentist will stick brackets to the inside of your teeth and then run a wire behind your teeth. The brackets and the wire apply pressure to the teeth, which causes them to gradually move.
The benefits of lingual braces:
Lingual treatment offers a whole host of benefits, including:
- They are much more discreet than other types of braces. In fact, they’re virtually invisible! So, if you’re feeling a bit self-conscious about having braces, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’ll only ever be noticed if you open your mouth really wide!
- They’re easy to maintain and you don’t have to remember to put them in each day.
- They’re really effective when it comes to correcting complicated issues.
The disadvantages of lingual braces:
Unfortunately there are also a few disadvantages to lingual treatment:
- They are more expensive that traditional braces as, not only do they have to be custom made, but they also require advanced skills and training to fit.
- If they break, they can take time to fix – because lingual brackets are custom made, if a part breaks, it may need to be re-ordered. This will not only delay the treatment by anything up to a couple of weeks, but it will also increase the costs involved.
- If your dentist needs to change the position of a bracket, it tends to be difficult to do – meaning longer appointment times, and potentially a longer treatment time.
Firstly, you’ll need a consultation with your dentist, who will discuss your needs and the possible treatment options. If you decide to proceed, your dentist will give you an idea of the costs and timescales involved.
Next, your dentist will take some photos, x-rays, and moulds of your teeth. These will be used to create study models of your teeth, which will be used to plan your treatment. After this stage, you’ll be given a more accurate idea of the length and cost of the treatment.
If you’re happy to go ahead, you’ll then arrange an appointment to have your braces fitted you’re your dentist will need to take some further impressions of your teeth.
Why does the dentist need to take more moulds?
These moulds will be far more accurate than the ones taken previously, and will be sent off to a specialist lab, where a 3D computer model of your teeth will be created.
What happens next?
Once the 3D model has been created, a specialist orthodontic technician will move the individual teeth into alignment on the computer and send the mock up image back to your dentist. The dentist will also modify the mock up and it will be sent back and forth to the lab a few times, until the teeth are as straight as possible.
Once your dentist and the technician are both happy with the computer mock up, it will be used to create lingual braces, which have been totally customised for your teeth.
How long does it take to fit the braces?
Lingual braces are a little more complex to fit than traditional braces, so it can take up to two appointments for them to be fitted properly.
Will it hurt?
Most people say that they felt some pain when their braces were first fixed onto their teeth and the discomfort usually kicks in a couple of days after you’ve had the braces placed. Your teeth might ache, and your gums and tongue may get sore in certain places. This pain can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Of course, as with any sort of procedure, everyone’s experience is different and some people will experience more pain than others.
The good news is that the pain will start to subside after a few days and within a few weeks, it should have disappeared altogether – you might even forget that you’re wearing braces at all!
Once you have finished your treatment, you will need to wear retainers to keep your newly straight teeth in place! Depending upon your case, you might need to removable retainer, which can be taken in and out, or you might need a fixed retainer, which is a small wire bonded to the inside of your front teeth.
The amount of time that you need to wear your retainer for also varies from case to case, however it usually involves full-time wear for 6 months and then nightly wear for an indefinite period – a small price to pay for a perfect smile!