Invisible braces are also referred to as 'lingual' braces. Lingua is Latin for 'tongue', i.e. braces on the tongue-side.
With sophisticated software, fully customised brackets are designed on a 3D print of your teeth so that they fit perfectly to the inner tooth surface. The slots in the brackets are designed so that they work with the arch wire to guide the teeth into the desired position. The arch wires, which vary in shape, dimensions and elasticity, are bend by a computer-operated robot.
Brackets are made of gold as this metal is malleable and easy to process. It is also an inert material, i.e. it does not react to factors that may be present in the mouth area.
Working on the lingual side is very demanding for the orthodontist.
These three factors mean that an 'invisible treatment' is expensive. In order to reduce the price, invisible lingual brackets can be used for the upper teeth and aesthetic brackets on the front surface of the lower teeth. This option offers a very discrete solution.
The bonus of the lingual device is its invisibility. You must be aware of slight speech impediments that could last up to 3 weeks. One patient may struggle with these, another may not have a problem. We cannot predict who will have an issue.
The fact that the brackets are customised optimizes patient comfort although a prickly wire can irritate the tongue!
Lingual braces work just as well as braces that are fitted to the front surface of the teeth. There are, however, some differences. Lining up the teeth can be quicker but gaps between teeth may take a little longer to close. But doesn't every silver lining also have a cloud?
The recording of the impression of the teeth is an extremely important moment. Incognito decides if this impression is sufficiently accurate. And sometimes it needs to be redone.
It is vital that all teeth are well taken care of in the run up to having the precision impression taken. All plaque and calculus must have been thoroughly removed. Brackets cannot adhere to plaque or calculus and it could also compromise the accuracy of the impression.
If any teeth have to be removed, this will occur once the device has been fitted. When teeth are removed, the neighbouring teeth move. As a result, the bonding tray containing the brackets will no longer fit.