Lingual Arch Appliance and Its Uses

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Having straight teeth is very important to everyone, but few are born with perfectly straight ones. Not only do they look better than misplaced teeth, but they 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 spreading out and 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.

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