A lingual arch is an orthodontic device, which is banded around the molars. It keeps the molars from migrating forward and prevents them from blocking off space of teeth that develop later. It is used when early loss of baby teeth or when lower teeth are slightly crowded. A lower lingual arch is a space maintainer for the lower teeth. It maintains the molars where they are.
The LLA or lower lingual arch has an archwire that’s adapted to the lower teeth’s lingual side. In the upper arch, the wire usually connects the 2 molars that pass through the palatal vault. It is commonly called TPA or Transpalatal Arch.
TPA and LLA are fabricated through putting bands on the patient’s molars and these are connected to the wire. The archwire can be inserted into lingual sheaths that are welded to the band or soldered to the band.
As mentioned, LLA is often employed as a space maintainer for one’s lower teeth and in such cases, it keeps the molar in position. It can also be used for stabilizing molar position to avoid side effects that can occur during orthodontic therapy. LLA is often used in cases in which an early loss of the 2nd deciduous molar occurs. In such cases, LLA stops the permanent molars from migrating forward, thus closing the eruption space intended for the premolar teeth. Lower lingual arch is also used for maintaining the Leeway space, the extra space present in the arch replaced by smaller permanent premolars after the deciduous molars are removed. If removable, LLA can also be activated to achieve molar movements.