Lingual braces are probably the most discreet ‘invisible brace’ available on the market. Essentially the reverse or obverse of traditional braces, they are mounted on the back side of teeth, and are also commonly known as “inside braces”. So, what’s it like to get lingual braces, and is it the right fit for you?
The process of indirect bonding of lingual braces
Step 1: The orthodontist takes a detailed impression of your teeth either by using a tray full of malleable putty to create a mould, or by scanning your teeth via a digital intraoral scanner.
Step 2: The orthodontist then sends it along with a prescription to an orthodontic laboratory, which will create casts from the impressions. After that, a technician creates a set-up of what your teeth will look like (the intended post-treatment result) and sends it back to your orthodontist, who will take a look at it before giving it the go-ahead.
Step 3: Once the set-up is approved, the experts at the lab will create the brackets and have wires bent specifically to fit each tooth. This step usually takes up to a few weeks for completion.
Step 4: As soon as your new braces are complete, they will be sent to the dental clinic. Your orthodontist will ask you to come in so that you can finally get your lingual braces fixed on. The orthodontist will first apply cement to adhere the brackets in the right places and bond the lingual braces onto the back of your teeth. After that, the arch wire is tied in.
Step 5: After several months of orthodontic adjustments, the teeth will be well -aligned, and the final step is when your braces can finally come off. Impressions of your teeth will be made after the braces are removed so that retainers can be made from the models. Next, you’ll be fitted with a retainer, which will prevent your teeth from moving back, allowing you to maintain your beautiful smile.
Now that you have a better understanding of the process involved, what are the advantages and disadvantages of opting for lingual braces?
Inconspicuous: These braces are virtually invisible, unlike the very noticeable metal braces on the outside surfaces of the teeth. Even discreet options like ceramic braces or Invisalign on the outer surfaces of the teeth can still make one feel self-conscious since people can clearly see it upon close observation. With lingual braces on, even though they are metal braces, you no longer have to be afraid to smile, laugh or talk. It’s a great idea for those who want to keep their orthodontic treatment to themselves.
Low risk of decay: Lingual brackets facing your tongue will be bathed in saliva, which protects your teeth against tooth decay. There is a lot more saliva on the inside surfaces of the teeth than on the outer side. As a result, the risk of tooth decay when using lingual braces is significantly lowered.
Smaller brackets: Since the brackets are on the back surface your teeth, which is a smaller area, they tend to be smaller than standard ones, resulting in a less visible brace.
Discomfort: It takes time to get used to wearing lingual braces, especially since your tongue may constantly experience friction against the brackets. It may also irritate the gums or lips, depending on the person. You might experience temporary issues with your speech as well, so some adjustment time may be needed.
Higher price: Since the lingual braces cater to a smaller market, manufacturers do not have the benefits of economies of scale in research, production, distribution and marketing; that naturally translates to a higher cost when compared to conventional non-lingual metal braces, Invisalign, and clear braces.
With the information above, it’s time to come to a decision. Is opting for lingual braces right for you? No matter what your decision, it’s important not to skimp on a certified, good orthodontist in Singapore that you can trust for any dental issues.