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Lingual Braces: Pros, Cons, Cost and More

Braces have long been a popular orthodontic treatment for correcting misaligned teeth and achieving a beautiful smile. But have you ever considered the option of hidden treatment, such as lingual braces? Lingual braces have been around for several decades, one of the older discreet types similar to Incognito braces. However, as technology continues to revolutionise the field of orthodontics, modern alternatives like Invisalign offer comparable benefits and have become popular options for invisible orthodontic treatments today.

This article explores the potential advantages and disadvantages, costs, and other aspects of lingual braces, providing the information you need to get the confidence behind the smile!

Let’s dive in.

What Are Lingual Braces and How Does It Work

Lingual braces are “fixed” braces. Lingual braces are also known as lingual orthodontic appliances. They are a type of orthodontic treatment that, unlike traditional metal braces, are placed on the inner surface of your teeth, making them virtually invisible to others. These orthodontic braces use customised lingual brackets, which are fitted onto the teeth with square metal brackets. Some clinics even utilise precision CAD/CAM technology to craft custom-made brackets that conform to the contours of each tooth. In this way, lingual braces differ from traditional braces in terms of aesthetics and placement, offering a unique lingual braces treatment experience.

Lingual Braces Model — https://st4.depositphotos.com/11125278/30918/i/450/depositphotos_309181354-stock-photo-lingual-braces-model.jpg

So, how does lingual orthodontics work?

Lingual braces work similarly to traditional braces. They function by applying continuous pressure to your teeth through these customised brackets, prompting bone remodelling and gradually moving your teeth into their desired positions. However, the key distinction lies in the placement of the brackets and wires. Traditional ones have brackets and wires on the front surface of the teeth, while lingual braces are fixed to the back of the teeth.

Like traditional braces, lingual braces can effectively straighten teeth and enhance jaw alignments. As your teeth shift, the dentist will periodically adjust the braces to ensure steady progress toward your orthodontic goals. However, it is important to note that their suitability and effectiveness may vary depending on the dental issue.

Furthermore, if you opt for clear aligners, Invisalign offers an equally unnoticeable alternative similar to lingual braces. The good thing is that you can easily remove the appliance when necessary, such as when eating, brushing, and cleaning; oral hygiene is not a concern.

Discreet Orthodontic Treatment Procedure

The journey to a beautiful smile with lingual braces begins with an evaluation by our dentist. This comprehensive examination of your upper and lower teeth, mouth, and jaws typically includes acquiring both 3D scan images and X-rays to assess your suitability for lingual orthodontic treatment.

Dentist and patient — https://st.depositphotos.com/1586254/3622/i/450/depositphotos_36228779-stock-photo-dentist-and-patient.jpg

Once our dentist determines that lingual braces are right for you, the customised lingual brackets are created and then fixed onto the inner surface of your lower and upper teeth. The treatment duration for lingual braces usually ranges between 18 and 36 months, depending on the complexity of your case. During this period, you’ll need to attend check-ups to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Once the desired effect has been achieved, it is time to remove your lingual braces. This is the same process as with traditional braces. Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout the treatment process is essential to ensure good results and minimise any potential discomfort.

Who Are Best Suited to Lingual Braces?

Young Woman Face Crooked Teeth — https://st4.depositphotos.com/12056760/41605/i/450/depositphotos_416051226-stock-photo-close-young-woman-face-crooked.jpg

Lingual braces are ideal for adults and teenagers who prioritise a discreet orthodontic treatment option. They may value the aesthetic aspect of their appearance and prefer to undergo teeth straightening without the visible presence of conventional braces. Lingual braces offer a way to achieve a radiant smile while maintaining a natural look.

In addition, those working professionals concerned about the potential impact of visible braces on their self-confidence or professional image may find lingual braces an attractive option. Lingual braces allow them to address their orthodontic needs without drawing attention to their dental treatment, such as:

  • Crowding. When teeth are too close together, it causes misalignment.
  • Spacing. Gaps between teeth can be closed using lingual braces.
  • Malocclusions. Lingual braces can correct bite problems, including deep overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
  • Complex Cases. Individuals with severe orthodontic issues, such as rotated teeth or multiple misalignments, may find lingual braces suitable.

Invisalign is also a great option for consumers today, especially for those who may not be suitable candidates for lingual braces. With Invisalign, individuals can enjoy the benefits of orthodontic treatment while being able to completely remove the clear aligner.

Ultimately, deciding what device to choose depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, and specific dental needs. Consulting with your dentist can help assess the suitable treatment option for achieving the desired results.

Lingual Braces Cost

Cost is undeniably a significant consideration when going through a braces journey.

Due to their customised brackets and bracket positioning, lingual braces often come at a higher price than traditional braces and clear aligners. The complex process of creating and installing lingual braces may also contribute to the extra cost.

On average, the lingual braces cost in Singapore is around $10,000 and up. The exact treatment cost will depend on your case’s complexity, the treatment duration, and the installation process.

To reduce the financial burden of lingual braces, you may want to explore financing options, such as payment plans that are often offered by dental clinics. So, it is advisable to consult first with a dentist to gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential cost estimate. This step will provide valuable insights into the financial aspects of your lingual braces treatment, allowing you to make an informed decision and effectively manage the expenses involved.

Although the cost of lingual braces can be more expensive than other orthodontic treatment options, the discreet nature of this treatment often makes it worth the investment for those seeking an invisible solution to straightening their teeth.

The Pros and Cons of Lingual Braces

Close up of lingual braces — https://st.depositphotos.com/1004713/3188/i/450/depositphotos_31884671-stock-photo-close-up-of-lingual-braces.jpg

Lingual Braces Pros

  • Discreet Appearance. One significant advantage of wearing lingual braces is their invisibility, as they are affixed at the back of the teeth, making them a great option for those who value aesthetics. 
  • Effectiveness and Versatility. Lingual braces are proficient in addressing various dental issues, including misalignments and bite problems, contributing to enhanced oral health and dental wellness.
  • Customisation. Lingual braces could be customised to fit the unique contours of each individual’s teeth, ensuring a precise and personalised treatment approach.
  • No Risk of Staining. Unlike traditional braces, lingual braces are not exposed to the front surfaces of the teeth, reducing the risk of staining or discolouration.

Lingual Braces Cons

  • Discomfort and Pain. Lingual braces could often lead to discomfort and irritation due to their placement behind the teeth and the sharp edges rubbing against the tongue, unlike Invisalign, where you can have a comfortable experience with lesser pain, easier maintenance of oral hygiene, and a smooth adjustment process.
  • Oral Hygiene Challenges. Cleaning lingual braces could be more challenging, as they are harder to access, potentially leading to hygiene issues and an increased risk of dental problems.
  • Treatment Duration. Lingual braces treatment may take longer than other orthodontic options, potentially requiring more frequent adjustments and appointments.
  • Speech Performance. The positioning of lingual braces could lead to temporary speech difficulties and lisping until the tongue adapted to their presence.

Maintaining Your Lingual Braces: Care and Hygiene Tips

🦷Brush your teeth after every meal and before bedtime using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay extra attention to cleaning the back of your teeth where the lingual brackets are attached.

🦷Flossing between the brackets and wires can be tricky, so specialised flossers can help you reach these areas effectively.

🦷Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash can also help reduce the risk of plaque buildup and gum issues.

🦷Be mindful of your diet. Eat soft foods for the first few weeks or while wearing braces.

🦷Regular dental check-ups with your dentist are essential for adjustments and ensuring your treatment progresses as planned.

By following these care guidelines, you’ll contribute to the success of your treatment plan and achieve a confident, healthy smile!

Conclusion

While lingual braces have provided a discreet, versatile solution in orthodontic care, it is crucial to consult with a dental care specialist to determine your specific dental needs, as their suitability and effectiveness may vary. Remember, your smile is a vital part of who you are, and although lingual braces have their advantages, considering modern alternatives like Invisalign could potentially offer an even greater solution for your orthodontic journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are lingual braces used?

Lingual braces are a great cosmetic alternative for those who want to straighten their teeth without visible metal brackets, and they address complex orthodontic issues effectively. 

How long does the treatment process typically take?

Lingual braces may require a longer treatment time, from 18 to 36 months on average (depending on severity). 

Are lingual appliances suitable for children?

While lingual braces can treat mild to complex dental issues, their applicability to children may be limited due to the size and placement of the wire and brackets.

Conversely, Invisalign offers a more suitable option for young patients seeking discreet orthodontic treatment.

Are there alternatives to lingual braces?

Absolutely yes! There are alternatives to lingual braces, and one great option is Invisalign aligners. They offer a modern and discreet approach to orthodontic treatment, utilising a series of virtually invisible, custom-made aligners to gradually shift teeth into desired positions. Unlike lingual braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, making oral hygiene more convenient.

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Casa Dental ensures to provide the first-class service to a wide range of clientele including local and expatriate patients from young to old.
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