Lingual appliances are placed on the inside of the teeth giving invisibility with no change in facial contours. This treatment can be suitable for adults and children. A full orthodontic assessment is carried out by our specialist orthodontist prior to the commencement of treatment.
The word "lingual" originates from a Latin word meaning “close to the tongue”. Lingual appliances are used to correct misaligned teeth and bite problems, using a fixed brace that has been bonded to the inner side of the teeth. This enables teeth to be moved into their correct position without having the braces in plain view.
Lingual appliances differ from conventional fixed braces because they are placed behind the teeth giving invisibility with no change in facial contours. In fact a lot of actors and actresses choose to undergo treatment using lingual appliances.
Lingual appliances are not suitable for every patient - they don't solve all orthodontic problems, they require considerable dexterity and expertise on the part of the practitioner, and aspects of their design have the potential to complicate certain parts of treatment.
Some claim that treatment time can be prolonged and not every patient gets on with an appliance which encroaches on the tongue space. Some might find it difficult to adapt speech or chewing functions to this appliance.
One of the most common brands used for lingual appliances is Incogito®, which is the first totally individual bracket system for lingual orthodontics. Not only does it give a new variety of treatment possibilities to the orthodontist, but it also gives the highest patient comfort that is technically possible - reducing tongue irritations and speech problems and shortening the time necessary to get used to your braces.
Can any malocclusion be corrected with lingual orthodontics?
Yes. Whereas some removable appliances allow only simple, minor tooth movements, a lingual appliance can correct even extreme malocclusions.
Can children use lingual braces?
Yes, but only after the eruption of most of the permanent teeth.
Is there an age-limit for lingual orthodontics?
There is no age limit whatsoever, provided the teeth are fixed firmly in the bone, anyone should be eligible for a lingual appliance. A common misconception is the belief that braces are only for children and adolescents, but even if a patient is in their sixties they can be fitted with a lingual brace.
How long does treatment take with a lingual appliance, and what is the standard of the results?
Both the treatment time and the results from a lingual appliance are the same as for a normal fixed brace.
Is the only advantage of a lingual brace aesthetic or are there any medical advantages?
There are both medical and aesthetic advantages to the lingual brace. The inner side of the teeth is much more robust and less susceptible to decalcification and decay. This means that with lingual orthodontics, permanent damage to the teeth is less likely than with a fixed brace worn on the outer side of the teeth. If white spots, traces or decalcification begin to appear on the outer side of the teeth even prior to commencing treatment then lingual orthodontics could be a better option for you.