A less well-known choice for fixing misaligned teeth is lingual braces. They have some advantages over the more popular options providing a better cosmetic solution for patients. They do have some disadvantages as well, though, and we take a look at the considerations which need to be be made before choosing lingual braces.
Lingual Braces. What are they?
With lingual braces you will still have wires and brackets in your mouth as you would expect, the big difference is that these wires can't be seen. Whereas normally, you would expect to see braces attached to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are hidden because they are fitted to the other side of the teeth.
How are Lingual Braces Fitted?
As you might imagine, fitting braces to the backs of teeth is a more difficult job for the orthodontist. There is less room to fit the braces and the placement is more awkward. To overcome these difficulties and provide a better fit, an impression is taken to create customized brackets, perfect for each individual's mouth.
The brackets are attached to the backs of the teeth at the same time, with the use of a tray to cement them in place. Normal braces don't require this level of customization, with standard brackets used and cemented to the teeth one at a time.
The Advantages of Lingual Braces
One of the main downsides to traditional braces is their visual appearance. The lingual option gives all the benefits of the more traditional design but without changing the appearance of the patient's smile.
If when the braces are removed there are any discolored marks left on the tooth enamel, they won't be seen anyway. Also, because the braces are customized to the patient's mouth they will often be more comfortable than braces fixed to the outside of the teeth.