Lingual Arch Appliance and Its Uses

Lingual Arch Appliance and Its Uses

Presently, there is an array of dental tools which keep your oral health in check. From braces to retainers and headgear, solutions exist for each particular case. Among many available treatments also includes a lingual arch appliance. But, what exactly is a lingual arch appliance and what is it used for?

Read all about it below.

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Lower Lingual Holding Arch Appliance: Introduction

A lingual arch appliance is an orthodontic tool which amends the mandibular jaw and Class II malocclusions. This particular device is attached to two primary molars of both the upper arch and bottom arch. Today, the device is among the most popular and helps treat orthodontic issues of various sorts.

The appliance is placed on the side of your lower teeth. It also has a stainless steel wire for the holding arch which connects the molars in the palatal vault. This type of a lingual arch appliance is also known as ‘Transpalatal Arch.’ The tool first saw the light of day in 1972, thanks to Robert Goshgarian.

Transpalatal Arch

A transpalatal arch device falls in the group of lingual arch devices for the upper jaw. The main purpose of TPA devices is to maintain the ideal dental arch width and prevent molars tipping. With that, the device creates more space in the jaw. Many studies consider TPA treatment one a great space maintainer for teeth inside the

What is a Lingual Arch Appliance Used for?

A lingual arch appliance, or LLA, is used actively or passively. The appliance enables a greater tooth movement control, especially in its target areas. According to studies, lingual arch appliances have an even greater potential, although no sufficient evidence testifies to it. Other uses of LLA include:

  • Stabilizing and supporting the molars, thus avoiding possible side-effects.
  • Maintaining space in the jaw.
  • Preventing early loss of the second deciduous molar, and keeping other teeth in check once that happens.
  • Balancing the ‘Leeway space’. This space opens up within the arch, upon molar exfoliation and replacement by permanent molars.
  • In cases of mobile appliances, the tool can move the molars in the desired space.
  • Expanding or reducing the space between the intermolar, thus rotating the molars as well. This further helps reshape the arch.
  • Introducing anchorage for the first molars on each side of the arch. This use is among the most common and diagnosed in patients.
  • Playing the role of retainers and treating the mandibular arch continuously.
  • Opening omega loops in the lingual arch, thus preventing mandibular incisors outburst.

When is a Lingual Arch Appliance Used?

Typically, the appliance finds its use when there is an early baby teeth loss. In other cases, the tool is of the bottom teeth face overcrowding.

Depending on your particular diagnosis, the duration of wearing LLA varies. However, the orthodontist will remove the device as soon as permanent teeth appear. It also does not require additional extraction of permanent teeth, which makes the treatment less severe than others.

Why Should I Use a Lingual Arch Appliance?

There are several benefits to wearing a lingual arch appliance as a treatment. Some of these include:

  • Active effect by wearing the tool 24 hours a day.
  • Easier removal and placement, as well as easy to clean and maintain.
  • Great for adjustments and targeting problematic areas in the arch.
  • Comfortable to wear, regardless of the ultimate objective.
  • No noticed side-effects while wearing it or erratic tongue movements.
  • Is usually worn on its own, but it can also be combined with related orthodontic treatments and treatments.
  • A partial or complete treatment, without having to amend the device’s dimensions in regards to the arch.
  • A lingual placing, making the device feel super pleasant and almost unnoticeable in the jaw.

Learn More about Using Space Regaining Appliances for children to recover lost space by following the hyperlink.


Are There Any Side-Effects of Wearing a LLA?

Although minimal, there are a few side-effects which can occur due to wearing a LLA. Read the most common side-effects of wearing a lingual arch appliance or a TPA below.

  • Issues with adapting the lingual arch on the molars.
  • Cracking the lingual sheath, as it hasn’t been fixed in time.
  • Mucosa overgrowth, as a result of irregular appointments with your orthodontist.
  • Looseness in the lingual arch, due to tongue pressure.
  • Allergies, and especially to cobalt (found in the appliance’s wire). It is worth mentioning this side-effects is very rare in patients.

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How to Use my Lingual Arch Appliance?

Be aware of the food you consume. That said, steer clear of sticky or chewy foods, like candy or gum. Also, keep the upper teeth bites moderate and avoid pulling food with your teeth.

How to Clean my Lingual Arch Appliance?

The best way to clean your appliance is by rinsing it with water. Make sure you rinse the tool after each meal so you avoid harmful bacteria built up. Proceed brushing and flossing your teeth as per regular, and maintain the bands hygiene optimal as well.

How Does LLA Work for Kids?

Lingual arch appliances are a lesser known orthodontic tool which helps your children overcome teeth and spacing issues. In fact, this appliance is recommended for children for several reasons. These are very comfortable and invisible to wear and can be taken out if necessary. In addition, lingual arch appliance does not cause as much gum irritation as harsher dental tools. Last but not least, children can easily maintain the LLA hygiene and rinse it themselves.

What to Expect from Wearing a LLA?

Once the device is placed (a very short process), you might experience tongue oppression. However, this will only last a few days, after which your tongue and speech will return to normal. If you are feeling any additional pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to call or visit your orthodontist.

Keeping the oral health in check is more than necessary for the proper teeth and jaw development. As all dental issues are best treated early, making an appointment with your orthodontist is highly recommended.

Supplemental Content

Having straight teeth is very important to everyone, but few are born with a perfect smile. Not only do they look better than misplaced teeth, but it is easier to eat and speak if they are in the right place. Most of the time we lose our baby teeth and then the adult ones start to come through quickly; but what happens when things don’t quite go to plan. We run the risk of the teeth we already have shifting or spreading out, not taking into account that others have to come through. It is then that a lingual arch appliance comes into use.

When there are molars that have to be kept in place, a lingual arch appliance will be called for. It does not matter if they are in the upper or lower dental arch, the appliance will be able to help. Depending on which one is to be treated, the placement will be a little different. It can work one of two ways.

  • If it is for the lower teeth it is the lower lingual arch and the archwire will be placed on the lingual side of the lower palate.
  • When it is the upper teeth, the molars will be connected by the archwire with it going through the palatal vault. When this happens, it is known as Transpalatal arch.

Very often the lower lingual arch appliance works as a space maintainer for teeth in the lower jaw. It will keep the molars in place. Both upper and lower appliances can be used to help the orthodontist carry out the work they need to do.

When a baby molar is lost before its time in the lower jaw, then a space maintainer will be needed. When it is set in, the permanent molars are not able to move forward and preventing further teeth coming through. It can also make sure that the Leeway space is kept. The Leeway space will be useful when the permanent premolars erupt.

When used correctly, it is possible to get a lingual arch appliance to move the molars in a way that they are needed to be moved. This is more likely to happen when they are removable, and they can be activated to increase or decrease the distance between molars. They also have the ability to rotate molars to help the job of the orthodontist who is working on the teeth. The reality is that the entire dental arch can be reshaped if there is a buccal archwire connected molars to the rest of the teeth.

It is important that the lingual arch appliances are made out of the correct material and to the correct standards. They will be made differently if they are for passive or active use. Stainless steel is the normal and correct material used when the arch is for passive use, whereas it will be good to use stainless steel with some beta-titanium properties for the wire when there is active use – i.e. there is an active use and the goal is to move the position of molars.

Learn More about teeth straightening and orthodontic appliances for children at



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