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Too embarrassed to smile for photographs? Stop hiding your smile with invisible braces. Find out more about lingual braces here.
What is unique about orthodontics is the ability to straighten a patient’s own teeth. It is a longer process than artificial methods like crowns or veneers, however at the end of it the patient has their own natural teeth which will last them the rest of their lives.
Booking an appointment with an orthodontist is easy. A patient can either request a referral from their dentist or call an orthodontist directly. Orthodontic treatments can be provided by a dentist, but they will not have the same experience as an orthodontist.
Lingual braces or hidden braces are becomign increasingly popular. As the name suggests they are invisible braces.
Lingual braces take effect immediately. From the moment the invisible brace is fitted the patient will start to see the effects. With invisible braces the teeth start to move straight away allowing noticeable changes by the next appointment with the orthodontist.
Lingual braces are a bespoke appliance. This means that the invisible brace is tailored for the individual. By customising the brace for each patient it improves patient comfort and means that speech can adapt more easily.
Lingual braces are customised for each and every patient.
The initial step is to take an imprint of the patient’s mouth. This is done so that when the technicians design the brackets and wires for the hidden brace it fits the patient perfectly.
After the moulds are completed the laboratory will cast the models and actually make a setup of teeth. This involves programming where the teeth will move to, so that the lingual braces are pre-programmed to exactly how the patient should look at the end. The wires of the invisible braces are designed to move the teeth into the exact position.
Dr Darsh Patel, Specialist Orthodontist
The length of treatment with lingual braces varies according to the level of misalignment (malocclusion) a person has with their teeth.
Invisible braces can be worn for as little as six months for mild crowding to eighteen months for instances where teeth are extracted. The time a patient will where hidden braces for will depend on their individual teeth.
The teeth have to start to move in the bone. It is a completely natural but can cause the teeth to ache for the first five days after a lingual brace is fitted. It is very important that patients brush their teeth well and take care with the things that they eat.
Dr Sarah Hepburn, Special Orthodontist, MSc Lingual
"One of the joys of lingual braces is that nothing shows. It is all done in a very easy, straight-forward manner, in a way that has maintained my own dignity as an adult. The invisible braces mean that I know what is going on, but other people do not, unless I choose to share it with them. People are amazed when I tell them that I have invisible braces."
"I find that I have got so much more confidence. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve been self-conscious about my teeth."
Teen: "I love wearing my brace. I smile much more now and I'm less shy. My friends said that invisible braces are much more painful, but they don't know because they all have them on the outside. Actually the ones I have are less painful than the ones that they have."
Mother of teen: "The changes in Elizabeth since she has been wearing the brace have been quite immense. Prior to the fitting she was quite a quiet and unconfident child who never smiled for photographs because she was ashamed of her teeth. Within a month of having invisible braces fitted she is smiling and comparing her photograph from before and it is completely different."
For more information about lingual braces visit the British Lingual Orthodontic Society at www.blos.co.uk
The production of this video was made possible by 3M Healthcare.
10038 Revised November 2012