Lingual Braces: Efficacy, Cost & Comparisons
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Table of Contents
- Pros & Cons
- Am I a Candidate?
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, including the metal brackets and wires involved, but the entire system sits on the inside of your teeth rather than the outside. This means they are practically invisible to other people. Some people think they are even less visible than clear, plastic aligners.
Lingual braces don’t work for everyone. They are only good for certain candidates, just like most orthodontic devices.
The Ups & Downs of Lingual Braces
Lingual braces can be a highly effective option to realign your smile. Many adults ask about this option because they do not want their orthodontic treatment to be visible, they play a woodwind or brass instrument, or they play sports. Lingual braces are a better option for these hobbies and professions.
More importantly, lingual braces are permanent. They remain on your teeth until your dentist removes them, which means you cannot forget to put them in or lose them as you might with clear, plastic aligners.
For people with very crowded teeth or some types of crossbite or overbites, braces are a more effective treatment than clear aligners. And your dentist has more control over how tight the braces are at the end of each checkup, allowing them to control your treatment plan more effectively.
There are some downsides to lingual braces.
Availability, Time & Cost Might Be Barriers
Aside from appearance, some of the biggest concerns for adults considering their dental alignment options are cost, length of treatment time, and availability. Lingual braces may be practically invisible, but they are not the best option when considering some other factors.
Lingual Braces Might Work Well for You
Lingual braces may be a good option for many adults seeking orthodontic treatment, and they can work for some teenagers. They are not a good orthodontic option for children or younger adolescents, whose teeth may be too small to manage this approach.
Although they are more expensive than many orthodontic devices, lingual braces can still be partially covered by insurance if your dentist diagnoses the orthodontic work as necessary.
The time commitment is about the same as other intensive types of dental alignment, and you have the benefit of seeing your dentist every few weeks or months for adjustments and to check that the braces are clean. In-person exams can reduce the risk of different types of misalignment and ensure your teeth are healthy. Your dentist will also be able to make adjustments to your treatment plan as you go if they are necessary.
While many adults opt for clear, plastic aligners for ease, you may find you prefer the appearance, or lack thereof, of lingual braces.
I Don’t Want Old Fashioned Braces. What are My Options? (July 2018). American Association of Orthodontists. Date fetched: April 30, 2021.
What Are Lingual Braces? Colgate. Date fetched: April 30, 2021.
The Average Cost of Braces. (January 2021). Value Penguin. Date fetched: April 30, 2021.
Lingual Orthodontic Treatment: Efficacy and Complications. (November 2019). Journal of Advanced Oral Research. Date fetched: April 30, 2021.
Comparison of the Efficacy of Tooth Alignment Among Lingual and Labial Brackets: An In Vitro Study. (November 2018). European Journal of Orthodontics. Date fetched: April 30, 2021.