There is now a huge choice of different braces for patients to choose from, including removable aligners, clear fixed braces, and our favourite, lingual braces. Over the years we’ve seen braces get more and more discreet, which has been great for broadening their appeal. But more importantly for us, braces have also got better at straightening teeth.
What are customised braces?
Bespoke, or customised, braces are designed just for you. They feature brackets and sometimes wires that are meticulously made using CAD/CAM technology to perfectly fit your teeth. They come in different forms so you can choose between clear, removable aligners like Invisalign® and hidden lingual appliances such as Incognito™ and eBrace.
For both treatments your orthodontist will begin by taking impressions (moulds) of your teeth. These are then sent off to a lab where they are transformed into a digital replica of your teeth, which is used to plan your treatment and design your aligners or brackets and wires.
Once you and your orthodontist are happy with your proposed treatment plan, your brace will be manufactured and delivered to your clinician ready for your big day.
So far so good – but do bespoke lingual braces offer any advantages over one-size-fits-all brackets and wires? Yes! You’ll be pleased to hear that bespoke appliances deliver tangible benefits to you and your orthodontist.
The benefits of bespoke lingual braces
Less risk of brackets falling off
The backs of your teeth are less uniform than the front surfaces, which can make things tricky when we’re trying to attach standard ‘out of the box’ lingual braces. In order for the lingual brackets to fit your teeth they need to be fairly small, but unfortunately this can make them easier to knock off.
Customised lingual braces, however, are designed to hug all the irregular surfaces behind your teeth, so they can cover a larger surface area, making them more secure. They also tend to have a lower profile than traditional brackets, causing less irritation to your tongue and helping to lessen the risk of any speech problems.
Better control of tooth movement
Bespoke brackets and wires are designed to move your teeth in the most efficient way possible, sometimes resulting in faster treatment times and fewer visits to your orthodontist. They’re also designed to give your clinician maximum control, so they can achieve precise movements and a really great end result.
Visualise your new smile
Certain customised braces, such as Invisalign and Insignia®, cleverly allow you to view a digital representation of your treatment – before your braces are even fitted. As well as visualising your smile at the end of your treatment, with some appliances, you can even see the journey your teeth will take to get there. What’s more, your orthodontist will be able to carefully review your treatment plan and make changes if necessary.
The disadvantages of bespoke lingual braces
One disadvantage of customised braces is that if you are unlucky enough to lose a bracket (they do occasionally get swallowed!) a new one will need to be made. This means you’ll need to wait for it to be delivered to your orthodontic practice before it can be reattached. The worst case scenario is that this could have a small impact on the length of your treatment.
Bespoke braces also tend to cost more than traditional braces because of the extra overheads associated with producing customised components.
To find out more about customised orthodontics, get in touch with your local specialist orthodontist.