If you are unhappy with your crowded or crooked teeth, you might have considered getting braces. Maybe you hesitated over getting traditional metal braces because of their esthetics. Even braces with clear brackets still look like braces when you are up close.
In recent years, advances in 3-D imaging and CAD/CAM technology have given us a third option: lingual braces.
Unlike traditional braces with brackets that are attached to the outside of your teeth, lingual braces have brackets that are attached to the inside surface, facing the tongue (hence the name “lingual,” which means “tongue”). They are virtually invisible from the outside, even when someone is standing or sitting close to you.
Dr. Ronald Metelka is one of the few dentists who is certified in lingual orthodontics. Talk to Dr. Metelka and the staff at North Shore Center of Dental Health to find out if lingual braces might be right for you.
Advantages and Challenges of Lingual Braces
In addition to the esthetics they offer, there are other advantages to lingual braces:
- They can address more serious orthodontic issues, which clear braces cannot, such as closing the space around an extraction or adjusting the height of teeth.
- White spots, which often appear on the teeth after wearing regular braces, are hidden on the inside of the teeth.
One of the greatest challenges of lingual braces is the initial awkwardness of having the brackets attached to the inside of your teeth. In addition:
- It takes time to get accustomed to eating and talking with the braces right next to your tongue.
- It is also more challenging to keep teeth clean.
- Lingual braces can make periodontal problems worse.
Logistically, Dr. Metelka will have to work upside down during your adjustment exams, so this could mean more time in the chair. Because there is less distance between the teeth on the inside as opposed to the outside, smaller and lighter wires are used, which may add to the length of treatment time. Costs may run higher as well.
The Expertise of Dr. Metelka
As you might expect, lingual braces provide a challenge to your orthodontist as well. This is why it is so important to only work with an orthodontist who has successfully done many lingual cases. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Metelka to find out more about lingual braces and whether they might be right for you.