The word "lingual" originates from a Latin word meaning “tongue”. Lingual appliances are used to correct misaligned teeth and bite problems, using a fixed brace that has been bonded to the tongue side of the teeth. This enables teeth to be moved into their correct position without having the braces in plain view.
Lingual appliances differ from conventional fixed braces because they are placed behind the teeth giving invisibility with no change in lip contours. In fact a lot of actors and media personalities choose to undergo treatment using lingual appliances.
Can any malocclusion be corrected with lingual orthodontics?
Yes. Whereas some removable appliances allow only simple, minor tooth movements, a lingual appliance can correct even extreme malocclusions.
Is there an age-limit for lingual orthodontics?
There is no age limit whatsoever, provided the teeth are fixed firmly in the bone, anyone should be eligible for a lingual appliance. A common misconception is the belief that braces are only for children and adolescents, but even if a patient is in their sixties they can be fitted with a lingual brace.
How long does treatment take with a lingual appliance, and what is the standard of the results?
Both the treatment time and the results from a lingual appliance are the same as for a normal fixed brace.
Can children use lingual braces?
Yes, but only after the eruption of most of the permanent teeth.
Is the only advantage of a lingual brace aesthetic or are there any medical advantages?
There are both medical and aesthetic advantages to the lingual brace. The inner side of the teeth is much more robust and less susceptible to decalcification and decay. This means that with lingual orthodontics, permanent damage to the teeth is less likely than with a fixed brace worn on the outer side of the teeth. If white spots, traces or decalcification begin to appear on the outer side of the teeth even prior to commencing treatment then lingual orthodontics could be a better option for you.