Adult Orthodontics Bellevue

Lingual Braces: Cost, Pros & Cons

BY Dr. Rooz Khosravi

What are lingual braces?

Lingual braces are a specialized type of orthodontic treatment offered by orthodontists for patients seeking to straighten their teeth while keeping their braces out of sight. Unlike traditional braces or regular metal braces, which are placed on the front of the teeth, lingual braces are uniquely designed with metal brackets and archwires attached to the back of your teeth, making them invisible when you smile. This treatment option falls within the realm of lingual orthodontics, a specialized technique that addresses malocclusion issues such as overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth through braces positioned behind the teeth.

One of the primary advantages of lingual braces over other types of braces, such as conventional metal braces, ceramic braces, or clear aligners like Invisalign, is their invisibility, offering an aesthetic alternative for those concerned about the appearance of traditional orthodontic appliances.

Pros and cons of lingual braces

Lingual braces treatment comes with its own set of challenges, including a higher cost, potential for increased soreness, and a slight lisp during the initial adjustment period. Oral hygiene is paramount with lingual braces, as the placement makes cleaning more challenging; using a toothbrush, flosser, and other tools recommended by your orthodontist is essential for maintaining good oral health.

Despite these disadvantages, lingual braces remain a popular treatment option for those looking for invisible braces to achieve straight teeth without compromising their appearance. The treatment time, cost of lingual braces, and treatment plan vary depending on the complexity of the orthodontic issues and the individual needs of the patient. Orthodontists might also discuss alternative treatments, such as clear aligners or tooth-colored ceramic braces, weighing the pros and cons of each to ensure the patient makes an informed decision.

Invisalign (clear aligners) vs Lingual braces

Lingual braces and Invisalign are both great choices for esthetic orthodontic treatment. These options for achieving straight teeth work very differently. Lingual braces, which are metal brackets and archwires attached to the back of your teeth, offer the invisibility that many desire.

Invisalign (clear aligners) consists of a series of plastic trays. Clear aligners similar to lingual braces offer a partially invisible option. Aligners can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing, promoting better oral hygiene during treatment. This treatment option is often seen as an alternative treatment option to traditional or lingual braces. However, the effectiveness of Invisalign depends on the patient’s commitment to wearing the aligners for the recommended 22 hours per day, making it less ideal for patients who might forget or prefer not to wear their appliances consistently.

Both treatment options require regular check-ups with an orthodontist to monitor progress and make adjustments as needed. The treatment time for both can vary based on the complexity of the orthodontic issues, such as overbites, underbites, or crowded teeth, but Invisalign typically offers a quicker solution for minor to moderate cases.

The cost of lingual braces is generally higher than Invisalign, largely due to the customization and specialized version of regular braces that required for fitting braces on the back of the teeth. The average cost of lingual braces range from $6000 to $15000. Orthodontists often offer payment plans to help manage the expenses, and dental insurance may cover a portion of either treatment. Additionally, maintaining a good oral hygiene can also be more challenging and time-consuming with lingual braces, requiring diligent use of flossers and special toothbrushes to maintain good oral health. Certain type of lingual brackets are easier for maintaining oral hygiene.

Ultimately, the choice between lingual braces and Invisalign should be made after a discussion with an orthodontist, considering the pros and cons of each option in relation to the patient’s lifestyle, orthodontic treatment needs, and budget.

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that a good candidate for orthodontic treatment is someone who understands the commitment to oral hygiene and is willing to accommodate the potential for an adjustment period. Lingual braces is a great choice for teens and adults who are not interested in challenges with Invisalign and yet are looking for an esthetic orthodontic treatment despite the disadvantages of lingual braces mentioned above. Don’t forget that after either lingual braces or Invisalign treatment you would need retainers to maintain your teeth.

Lingual orthodontic treatment for adults and teens

In conclusion, lingual braces offer a unique solution for teeth straightening, combining the effectiveness of traditional metal braces with the discretion of invisible braces. Despite the higher cost and initial adjustment challenges, they represent a compelling treatment option for those prioritizing aesthetics in their orthodontic treatment. Schedule a free consultation at PORTH with Dr. Rooz to learn more about lingual appliances and how your orthodontic treatment plan could be truly invisible.

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