iBraces are a brand of lingual braces, which are metal braces mounted on the lingual or tongue side of the teeth. That arrangement has the advantage of making them invisible to others — hence the “i” in “iBraces.” Lingual braces are also sometimes called “inside braces.” They are used to treat the same kinds of crowding and bite issues as are regular braces. Most patients wear lingual braces for 18 to 36 months.
iBraces are thus an attractive option for adults who need to have their teeth straightened but find the idea of getting traditional “railroad tracks” braces embarrassing. They are also not removable like a retainer or Invisalign®, so the patient can’t either lose them or “forget” to wear them.
What’s involved with getting iBraces?
The patient consults with their orthodontist who then takes impressions of the patient’s teeth. The orthodontist sends the impressions to a dental laboratory which will make the needed brackets and wires along with a prescription detailing the expected results.
A computer is used to custom design the brackets for the patient’s teeth to ensure an optimal fit and effectiveness; the applicator tray, a device used to hold the brackets in perfect alignment while the orthodontist bonds them to the patient’s teeth, is custom-made.
Some time after taking the impressions, the orthodontist bonds the brackets to the patient’s teeth. He will wait for the cement to set and then remove the applicator tray and clean away any excess cement. He will then install the wires accompanying the brackets.
What are the limitations?
The procedure is admittedly more complicated than installing conventional braces is. As iBraces go on the backs of the patient’s teeth, visibility and access are more limited. The original installation and later check-ups, therefore, tend to take longer than do equivalent procedures involving braces on the front of the teeth.
Although lingual braces are a variation of metal braces, they are still sufficiently different that not all orthodontists know how to work with them.
What are the advantages?
The big selling point of iBraces is their inconspicuousness. The customization during both their making and installation also means the patient will need to have them adjusted fewer times than someone with traditional braces would. iBraces are 70% smaller than conventional braces, which means they are less likely to impair a patient’s ability to speak or eat.
iBraces are also a good choice for people who play contact sports. Regular braces might make it uncomfortable or difficult to wear a mouth guard, but iBraces won’t.
To find out more about if iBraces are the right solution for you, contact Ragan Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation.