No matter the patient’s age, many people who need braces worry about how they will look and feel. From professionals who want to keep their smile clean to students who don’t want to be singled out for wearing braces, many people prioritize an invisible option when reviewing the available treatments. Lingual braces offer patients the treatment of conventional metal braces without the visual impact.
Continue reading to learn about lingual braces, why you may want to consider them, and what you can expect if your orthodontist agrees that they are the right treatment for you.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
Lingual Braces vs Traditional Braces
The main difference between lingual braces and traditional braces is that they are invisible from the outside. But unlike Invisalign or ceramic braces, their invisibility comes from the location rather than the material. The lingual side of your teeth is the backside facing your tongue, so no one will know you have braces on.
Otherwise, lingual braces are functionally similar to normal braces. They consist of brackets individually attached to each tooth being treated, connected by an archwire that applies steady pressure to the row of teeth. Any rubber bands that are needed are also attached behind the teeth.
Due to the location of lingual braces, the sensations in the patient’s mouth are different. This leads to different advantages and disadvantages compared to conventional front-facing braces. However, the treatment (and treatment eligibility) is generally the same. Food restrictions with lingual braces, which prohibit hard, chewy, and sticky foods in favor of soft ones, are also the same as normal braces.
Advantages of Lingual Braces
The most obvious advantage of lingual braces is their invisibility. Whether you’re a professional that wants to keep up appearances at meetings or a student nervous about picture days and proms, lingual braces provide a treatment option that won’t impact your physical appearance.
Unlike Invisalign, lingual braces do not need to be removed and cleaned. They are a much less self-directed treatment, which could make them a better option for individuals who are not confident in their ability to self-regulate their treatment time.
Additionally, due to their location, lingual braces don’t require as many lifestyle adjustments as conventional braces. For instrument players, front-facing braces can be a difficult or even painful adjustment. Lingual braces offer an option that won’t affect playing as much. Kissing, chewing, and other mouth-dependent activities might also be easier on the lips.
Finally, lingual braces offer more customization options, aided by computer-driven software advancements that allow braces to be manufactured and designed in a way more tailored to the individual patient’s needs. Research shows that custom braces are more efficient than premade ones, though lingual braces of any kind still have some drawbacks.
Disadvantages of Lingual Braces
The main disadvantage of lingual braces is the cost, which is often considerably more than front-facing braces. While normal braces can cost as little as $3,000, lingual braces often cost $10,000 or more. You should check with your coverage and aid options to learn whether your insurance can help you with these costs, but the treatment’s biggest drawback remains.
Note that the high cost of lingual braces comes from the fact that they must be fitted to each tooth separately, which offers the advantage of customization but drives up the cost.
Another disadvantage of lingual braces is their availability. Not as many orthodontists are trained in applying lingual braces compared to conventional ones, so you may need to shop around to find someone trained in their application and removal.
Additionally, lingual braces can affect speech differently compared to front-facing ones. Due to their location closer to the tongue, speaking can be painful at first. Your mouth will naturally compensate to avoid the pain, leading to speech changes.
Most patients find that their speech returns to normal in a week, but some studies have shown that difficulties can persist for months before improving. Patients who work in a professional setting should take this into consideration before choosing lingual braces.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.