When we get new patients at the Alkali Dental Studio in Putney it’s surprising some of the misconceptions they have about a procedure like lingual braces. It’s only natural that the details of teeth straightening procedures may cause you some concern. Historically, dentists have never been the nation’s favourite people, and for that reason many of us are still nervous about the prospect of any in-depth treatment in our mouths. Fortunately, our team here at the Alkali Dental Studio in Putney are experienced in carrying out these types of procedures, and will always work hard to make you as comfortable as possible from start to finish.
Here are some revealing FAQ that have been answered to help you make up your mind.
Lingual braces are invisible!
Well, the fact is they are not entirely, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to find them. They fit behind your teeth which means if you are talking to someone they probably won’t notice that you are wearing a brace. In that sense they are invisible and that’s why many people in their 20s and 30s and even older are electing to have their teeth straightened.
Does a lockjaw problem affect the treatment?
In your initial assessment we will ask you whether you are aware of any existing problems before we begin the treatment. If we know that you have a condition like this, we will just make you aware that it’s not going to be cured through our work. You may experience some discomfort, as there will be a lot going on in your mouth, but it doesn’t affect the treatment as such.
Can lingual braces cause lockjaw?
During your assessment appointment, we’ll ask you if you’ve got any problems with your jaw. If you have a history of lockjaw then it can reoccur, but otherwise it doesn’t actively cause any issues with your jaw and we should be able to proceed normally. What our team will usually find is that if patients tend to clench the muscles, jaw muscles or grind their teeth, then they do this a little bit more when they have braces in. However, this will resolve itself in time – it just takes a bit of getting used to.
Will a wisdom tooth extraction affect lingual braces?
It doesn’t tend to affect it, although in some cases – such as the lingual braces extending quite far back, or if the wire is in the way, for example – you may experience a low level of added discomfort. Overall we wouldn’t consider this to be a concern for our patients.
Can protruding teeth be corrected with lingual braces?
Lingual braces work extremely well for this, because they do have a tendency to pull the teeth back. If you feel your teeth are protruding somewhat, the lingual braces will have a positive effect on this in the long run. We have had patients with teeth that protruded quite considerably; within eight to nine months they had been pulled back and the results were fantastic. We didn’t need to take any teeth out, just a bit of enamel removal in between the teeth and a small amount of shaving worked wonderfully.
Does this treatment work for people with gum disease?
Generally speaking, we don’t provide any type of braces for patients with gum disease, unless you have a past condition that has been treated and you’re considered stable by your previous dentists. This means that there will be no bleeding, no infection, and you’ve got enough bone in tact. If this is the case then yes, we can do it and it will usually work as normal. However, with active gum disease – bleeding gums, deep pockets, hardly any bone – we would unfortunately have to refuse any type of treatment until the condition was eradicated.
Can lingual braces fix the gap between top and bottom teeth?
If you end up having what we call an overjet – when the top jaw is further forward than the bottom one – then lingual braces can pull back the top teeth to some extent and therefore make the gap smaller. Really, though, it depends on what type of lingual braces you need – are you going for the kind that just fixes the front teeth? Are you going for a more conventional brace, where we may need to remove some teeth, causing one of the team to carry out a full bite correction? We will be able to determine this and then work out what is the best outcome for you as a patient, it just depends on what it is that you want to achieve and your preferences moving forward.
Are lingual braces safe for a crown tooth with a root canal treatment?
The short answer is yes, but it’s a more challenging process. Attaching a bracket to a crown is a little bit more of a delicate procedure – it tends to come off more easily, so more work is needed to ensure that this doesn’t occur. Another issue is that root canal treated teeth can be a little unpredictable. Sometimes they may not move, or may be too weak and fragile and end up breaking. This, of course, is very rare and we’ll always keep you fully informed of any new or unforeseen developments.
Are bridges a factor in lingual treatment?
We can only answer this properly following your assessment, as this is very much dependent on where the bridge is.
Are there any limitations I should know about?
The easiest way to explain the process is by splitting it into the two types of lingual brace that we offer here at Alkali Dental Suite. The first is one that concentrates on your front teeth, and the second provides full bite correction.
If you go for the brace that only corrects the front teeth, we may not be able to correct the fact that you’ve got bite issues or the fact that you’ve got an overjet (see question 6 above), so that’s one limitation to be aware of. It’s also important to understand that we are moving the position of the teeth, not changing the shape of them.
If your issue is the fact that a tooth is too short, too wide or too long, then that requires a different type of treatment. The key issue here is to establish what your expectations are and then decide what type of treatment you are going to pursue. Have you chosen one that corrects the whole bite, or have you chosen one that corrects just the aesthetic smile, i.e. the front teeth?
If you would like to find out more then you can visit us for a consultation where we’ll talk you through all the stages from design, fitting and implementation to the finished smile. Simply contact the Alkali Dental Studio in Putney for more details.