Vertical forces in labial and lingual orthodontics applied on maxillary incisors - A theoretical approach

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Theoretical and experimental biomechanical analyses explain most labial orthodontics (LaO); however, lingual orthodontic (LiO) biomechanical principles are rarely introduced. The objective of this study was to apply basic biomechanical considerations in understanding the influence of maxillary incisor inclination and to compare the effect of labial vs lingual intrusive/extrusive forces on tooth movement. Basic anatomic and geometric hypotheses were assumed, ie, tooth length (crown and root), location of the center of resistance, and crown thickness. Incisor inclination as related to a perpendicular line to the occlusal plane (OP) varied between -35° (retroclination) and 45° (proclination). A 0° inclination was defined as a tooth position with its long axis perpendicular to the OP. The buccolingual moment for characterizing root movement was calculated for an applied force perpendicular to the OP. The results showed that when using LaO, an extrusion force resulted in labial root movement from a retroclination of 20° up to a proclination of 45°. In LiO, labial root movement occurred only when the tooth was proclined more than 20°. In all other tooth inclinations, lingual root movement occurred. The opposite tooth movement occurred when an intrusive force was applied. Application of a vertical force has different clinical effects on tooth movement with labial and lingual appliances. Application of a lingual force is more complicated, and its effect on tooth movement depends on bracket position and initial tooth inclination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalAngle Orthodontist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Extrusion
  • Intrusion
  • Lingual orthodontics


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