“Lingual” means “related to language” in Latin. As it can be understood, “lingual orthodontics” describes the treatment made with wires attached to the tongue-facing surfaces of the teeth.
Many crowdings that can be treated with normal orthodontics, that is, orthodontics made with wires attached to the visible surface of the tooth, can also be treated with lingual orthodontics, but this is not the case in all patients, especially patients with low discomfort tolerance. Recent advances in bracket design, new metal alloys for the archwire, and new mechanics have not only facilitated the technical aspect of lingual orthodontics, but have also improved patient compliance and helped reduce patient discomfort.
Lingual orthodontics is technically demanding and the physician has to be selective in patient selection. In treatment planning, it is important to determine the patient’s expectations from the treatment and to balance this idea with the realistic goals of the orthodontist.
The biggest advantage of lingual orthodontics is that the wires cannot be seen by others. However, as every blessing has a burden, lingual orthodontics also has some disadvantages. Since the wires are on the tongue-facing side of the tooth, speech may be affected in the first place. Phonation disorders can be seen in letters such as “s”, “ş”, “t” and “d” formed by the tongue touching the tooth. However, researchers who have been doing these treatments abroad for years state in their articles that this problem is resolved between 1 and 3 months. Since the wires are located inside, there may be wounds in the tongue in the first place. However, when we consider normal orthodontic treatment, a similar situation can occur on the cheeks and lips. In other words, the sinking of the wires does not increase in lingular orthodontics, but only changes place. In the next session after the gluing of the wires, the patients come accustomed to their wires. With the measures to be taken, these disorders will be minimized and the patient’s compliance with the treatment will increase.
Since it will be more difficult for the dentist to process the back surfaces of the teeth and the angle of view will be more difficult, the time allocated for appointments is slightly longer than in normal orthodontics. When the total treatment time is evaluated, there is no difference between lingual orthodontics and normal orthodontics.
Lingual orthodontics is mostly accepted in adult patients and young people. It is not preferred in pediatric patients because the teeth are about to erupt and it is not possible to stick the bracket on the back surface of the erupting tooth.
Oral hygiene special brushing techniques and oral hygiene tools are more important in lingual brackets than normal brackets, because control is more difficult on the inner surface than on the outer surface, and plaque accumulation, gingivitis and caries formation cannot be seen by the patient.