Lingual braces provide a similar function to the standard metal brace, but in a way that makes them almost unnoticeable; they’re on the backs of your teeth! With this unorthodox bracket arrangement, relatively traditional orthodontic techniques can be used without disruption to your everyday life, as well as personal and professional relationships.
Widely available in local clinics, Incognito Weybridge has grown in popularity, particularly with adult patients and this is understandable! The pros and cons of wearing a lingual brace do not really differ from that of a traditional one, except they are visually more discreet. For younger patients whose orthodontic care is likely to be covered under the NHS there will always be a space for the standard traditional brace, with trends leaning towards advertising a brace or applying coloured brackets and really emphasising it, making it an accessory with its own counterculture chic.
How do they feel compared to a regular brace?
One of the first concerns patients have, if they have worn a brace at some point already in their life, is how it might feel to have those kinds of brackets facing inwards, disrupting speech and possibly rubbing against the tongue. The brackets used in lingual braces are far lower profile than those used in the standard metal brace; this is partially out of necessity, as it would be extremely uncomfortable. With a standard bracket on the surface of the tooth, standard braces use off-the-shelf parts; they are in standard sizes and mixed and matched for the patient, which allows a good enough fit whilst reducing the overall costs.
Lingual braces have every bracket designed and made to order, interfacing with the rear surface of the tooth with the minimum profile. The result is a far more comfortable brace and a more effective treatment for the session, but this does come with additional manufacturing efforts and costs.
Like standard braces, lingual options also require adjustments and tightening sessions which, due to their position in the mouth, can be a bit more time consuming than those made with traditional front facing braces.
Are lingual braces right for me?
Most patients who could use a standard brace are suitable for treatment with a lingual system, the exception would be those with a very significant overbite. The limitation in this case seems to be the brace detaching from the teeth rather than the principles behind lingual braces and may change with the adoption of different technological advances in the future.
For severe malocclusions involving the extension of the dental palette or adjustment to the jaw position either lingual or traditional braces would be considered sufficient, and you should speak to a specialist orthodontist about your possible options.
Each patient is unique so it is important to have a full consultation with your local specialist dentist or orthodontic clinic before making any concrete plans around your orthodontic care. There are also often financing options available in many clinics, which you should ask about before committing to treatment, as this can greatly affect the range of options available to you.