Lingual (Invisible) Braces – Invisible, Fast and Accurate
Lingual treatment is our most advanced and esthetic option for adult and teen patients who want to smile without sacrificing aesthetics and especially for those in high profile positions, athletes and VIPs.
Lingual Braces offer three advantages, in a single treatment method:
- Invisible: The braces are bonded to the inside of the tooth! Nobody but you knows that you are having orthodontic treatment! It’s more clear than Invisalign, because there is simply nothing there to see on the front of your teeth
- Self-ligating bracket system: The friction of orthodontic appliances (between wire and braces) is reduced, and that means that tooth movement is smoother and less impeded
- Short and Precise: State-of-the-art SureSmile technology allows us to capture a highly accurate 3D model of the teeth to accurately plan individual movements of the teeth and roots in 3D using specialized SureSmile software. Then using the software we are able to have a robot bend a highly precise “smart” wire that is made to perform the desired movements. SureSmile® is proven to reduce treatment time by up to 33%
Other Reasons to Choose Lingual Braces
- Allows for treatment of orthodontic problems that are not possible with other “invisible” options
- Improvement in tooth appearance during all stages of the treatment (even in the beginning stages), because the appliance does not prevent the improvements in your smile from being seen
- No risk of visible discoloration of the teeth near the gums or borders of the brackets after removal of the braces because bonding is done on the non-visible lingual side of the teeth
- No increased risk of injury due to sports, or accidents
What type of problems or difficulties can you expect?
As a general rule, it's more difficult and takes longer to get used to wearing lingual braces than it does conventional ones. Here are some of the common problems that people encounter.
- Difficulties with speech: You can expect, at least initially, that your braces will make it difficult for you to speak in your usual fashion. For most patients, speech difficulty is the most severe problem they encounter. You may notice a new lisp or whistling sound when you speak. That's because your tongue needs to make contact with the backside of your upper front teeth when it makes certain sounds. Since that's the same place your braces have been placed, it will take a while for your tongue to find another location it can use that produces similar results.
- Tongue soreness: Your lingual braces will certainly be a curiosity to your tongue, in the sense that it won't be able to stay away from them. And of course as it functions, it will want to occupy some of the exact same locations that your braces already do. As a result, and especially for the first few weeks of wearing your new braces, you can expect that your tongue may be sore, even persistently so. You may notice some redness, or even the formation of an outright sore.
- Eating: Having lingual braces will make eating more difficult. Some foods will tend to get trapped in them. Others might even damage them.
- Cleaning your teeth: Wearing lingual braces will make it more difficult for you to brush and floss your teeth. Even so, your goal should still be to clean them and your braces after every meal and snack.
The Procedure and After-Care
Your first appointment for lingual braces involves taking an impression of your teeth. This impression will then be sent to a dental laboratory where your customized brackets are created using CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping technologies. Wires are created and bent using robotic technology. This process takes about six weeks. Once complete, your lingual braces orthodontist will use a precise process to cement them onto your teeth.
Afterwards, you'll need to revisit the dentist for monitoring and progress reports. Your dentist might recommend the following after-care tips for home:
Practice swallowing without a tongue thrust. The placement of your new braces may make it difficult to swallow without using a tongue thrust - the act of placing the tongue between the teeth before and during the act of swallowing. To avoid this, practice this technique: Bring your upper and lower mandibles together so that your teeth gently touch and swallow. Repeat this exercise several times a day until swallowing becomes easier and more natural.
Practice talking and enunciating. You might have some difficulty enunciating clearly at first. Be sure to practice talking and over-enunciating to get used to talking with your new braces.
Practice eating at home before eating out. In the beginning, soft foods like chicken noodle soup, rice and mashed potatoes will be easier to eat. Stringy vegetables and steak may get stuck in your teeth. Give yourself ample time at home to test which foods are both comfortable and easy to eat before planning a fancy dinner out.
Who can wear Lingual Braces?
Men and women, teenagers or adults, from 13 years to over 60 years of age, from students to professionals, all can choose invisible braces. If you desire beautiful straight teeth, you are a good candidate for Lingual Braces.
Why don't all orthodontist place lingual braces?
Not all orthodontists have an interest in providing treatment using lingual dental braces. (At least here in the USA. In other parts of the world, the use of this treatment approach is much more common.) Here's why:
- Providing treatment is more involved: As a technique, preforming lingual treatment creates some difficulties for the orthodontist that they would otherwise not have. The patient's orthodontic brackets are attached to the backside of their teeth where visibility and access is more difficult. The archwire that runs through each bracket doesn't have a smooth continuous curve like that used with front-side braces. Instead it requires more complex bends. The introduction of modern lingual systems (as described above) have simplified the way treatment is performed.
- Competing "invisible" methods: Other, easier to provide, minimally-obvious orthodontic systems are available. This includes clear and tooth-colored ceramic brackets and clear, removable aligner systems like Invisalign
- Additional training is needed: Companies that make some of the more sophisticated lingual braces systems require that the treating orthodontist must take specialized training from them. And while there is a learning curve to providing this type of service, don't be too impressed by this requirement. The time involved in completing this education is sometimes as little as a day (lingual braces are a variation on the theme of traditional braces, not a reinvention of the wheel). However, for those dentists who are interested, certainly more advanced courses are available.
Get started today on having the smile you have always wanted without the look of conventional braces! Call Dental Associates of Arlington at (781) 648-0279 and schedule your complimentary orthodontic exam and consultation today if you live in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.