Lingual Braces vs. Invisalign® — Which Is Right for You?
When adults consider orthodontics to straighten their teeth and/or correct their bite, two of the most popular choices for treatment are lingual braces and clear aligners (eg. Invisalign®). Lingual braces and Invisalign® treatment have been gaining popularity because of their aesthetic advantages.
When most people think of braces or orthodontics, they think of the traditional metal braces that are placed on the front of the teeth. Some adults are self-conscious about braces, and lingual braces or clear aligners (eg. Invisalign®) are appealing options for orthodontic treatment. Read more about Esthetic and Customized Orthodontic Treatment.
Instead of front-facing metal brackets and wires, teeth are moved into the correct position with:
- Lingual braces – braces that are placed on the back of the teeth
- Clear aligners (eg. Invisalign®) – a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. Read more about clear aligner therapy at How can I straighten my teeth at home? and What is Invisalign?
What are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces work in a similar fashion to the traditional front-facing metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth, making them virtually invisible.
How do I know if Lingual Braces are right for me?
There are some challenges associated with wearing them that aren’t found in traditional braces:
- Can be more difficult to clean
- Can have an overall treatment time that is longer than with traditional braces
- Typically, more expensive
- Not ideal for all cases
- Severe crowding
- Complicated bite problems
- Small or unusually shaped teeth
- Can be more uncomfortable at first due to the proximity of the lingual braces to the tongue
- Feeling of sharpness or abrasion on the tongue
- Difficulty swallowing without using a tongue thrust
- Speech (eg. lisping) issues
- Appointments can take longer than with traditional braces
If you understand the challenges and are willing to make the effort required for wearing lingual braces, discuss the option with your orthodontist to determine whether it’s right for you.
Are there different types of lingual braces?
Each orthodontist chooses their own lingual system according to his or her preference, level of training, cost, and patient factors . There are a variety of brands available, and they differ slightly as to design, but they all basically function the same way. Some popular lingual braces brands are:
- Incognito by 3M
- Harmony by American Orthodontics
- SureSmile by OraMetrix
- Alias by Ormco
- In-Ovation L by Dentsply GAC
How much do lingual braces cost?
Because the braces are custom-made, require special armamentarium, and require a certain level of education and technical skill to use effectively, they usually cost more than traditional braces or clear aligners.
How do I find an orthodontist who offers lingual braces?
Not all orthodontists offer lingual braces due to the technical skill, equipment, education, and training required to effectively treat patients with these specialized braces. Call the orthodontic offices in your area to find out if they offer lingual braces. If they do, you can schedule a consultation to find out if lingual braces are the right option for your treatment needs.
At Mashouf Orthodontics, we are proud to offer lingual braces as a means of straightening one’s teeth and correcting the bite. Please call us at: (408) 266-8820, visit our website at: http://www.drmashouf.com, e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or request an appointment online to learn more and set up a free consultation.