May 5, 2021

What Are Lingual Braces: A Comprehensive Guide To Lingual Braces And Treatment

Peri Elgrot

Top 10 Invisible Braces Editor

In Canada and the United States, there are around 4 million people with orthodontic braces. What drives these people to go through the process and pains of having braces? It’s their desire for a healthier and more beautiful smile.

However, treatment with orthodontic braces comes with significant obstacles. For starters, the more image-conscious people may not like the look of traditional metal braces. This is especially the case for young adults in schools and for working professionals. Another obstacle is the extra attention and care needed during the treatment process and even after having the braces taken off.

With all these downsides to conventional metal braces, more people are looking at other options such as invisible braces. The popularity of these invisible orthodontic options is growing significantly over the years. Back in 2017, the invisible orthodontics industry was valued at $2.15 billion. Its market value is projected to grow to $7.26 billion in less than 10 years.

When it comes to invisible orthodontic options, lingual braces are one of the most popular treatment options. Lingual braces are similar to conventional braces in that they have the same components. The difference is that these types of braces are fixed to the back of the teeth, on the tongue, or on the side of the teeth. Since lingual braces are fixed behind your teeth, you can consider them to be invisible.

This article tackles the advantages and disadvantages of lingual braces, how much they can cost, and whether you are a good candidate for this type of treatment.

Candidates for Lingual Braces

Consulting your orthodontist is necessary in order to figure out whether lingual braces are the right treatment option for your case. Although, generally, lingual braces will be able to correct the same set of alignment issues that conventional braces can correct. Researches show that lingual braces are able to achieve the goals that patients and doctors have set in their treatment plan.

Despite this, lingual braces are not necessarily the right choice for everyone. For example, for those with severe cases of overbite, having lingual braces can result in more trouble with the brackets popping off more often.

When you have your first appointment with your orthodontist, they will be examining your mouth and teeth. After which, they will then discuss which treatment options are the best fit for your case. It’s important to consult with a specialist because treatment is always on a case-to-case basis. Because we each have our own different and unique alignment problems and cases, our treatment plan should also be unique to our case.

If you are interested in getting lingual braces, let your orthodontist know early on as some orthodontists aren’t trained with this type of treatment.

Price of Lingual Braces Compared to Other Braces

The cost of your treatment and your braces will vary depending on the length of treatment, the place or state you live in, the insurance plan or coverage that you have, and the type of appliance you need or will choose.

The cost and payment plans for your treatment should be discussed in detail by your orthodontist. However, to give you an initial idea of how much it can cost on average, you should consult with your orthodontist. They can give you an initial quote as well as discuss treatment pricing and payment options with you.

Lingual braces tend to cost more than conventional metal braces. This is partly because the process of applying lingual braces is more difficult and time-consuming than with traditional braces. Additionally, lingual braces are often customized for the individual patient and this adds to the cost of the treatment.

The wires in traditional metal braces are made into a uniform horseshoe shape. In the case of lingual braces, wires are sometimes robotically bent to fit a specific patient’s mouth. Because of this customization, the treatment period is shortened. However, it also means that the treatment cost can be more expensive.

For conventional metal braces, you would need to pay an average of $3,000 to $7,350. For lingual braces, the cost can range from $5,000 to $13,000.

Other types of braces are ceramic braces which cost between $2,000 to $8,500 and aligner trays which are priced at $3,000 to $8,000.

Lisp in Lingual Braces

Because with lingual braces the brackets are on the backsides of your teeth, your speech will be affected to a certain degree. This could result in developing a mild to moderate lisp. However, all types of braces can interfere with your speech patterns. Lingual braces are no different, but speech interference often occurs for a month or more with this type of treatment.

Additionally, depending on the type and brand of brackets being used in your braces, the degree of your speech impairment will vary. However, your tongue will naturally get accustomed to the braces in the course of treatment and your speech will return to normal.

You can solve speech problems that come with lingual braces by just continuing to speak. For most people, when they discover that they have developed a lisp, they get embarrassed and limit their speech. It’s easy to believe that by not talking, you won’t have to worry too much about your lisp.

However, it’s important to practice often and therefore talk more often so that your mouth can get used to making sounds with lingual braces. You can practice pronouncing a few passages each day until you get the hang of it.

Discomfort in Lingual Braces Compared to Other Braces

You will be experiencing discomfort no matter what types of braces you use, this is because your teeth will be moving into proper alignment.

For most people, they will experience dull pain that can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications. But it’s always a good idea to eat soft foods until the pain subsides.

Additionally, as the soft tissues inside your mouth come into contact with the brackets, you will be experiencing pain. When you wear braces, your tongue will be the most common site of pain given the location of the brackets.

When it comes to lingual braces, some patients experience significant discomfort. To help alleviate this, manufacturers are developing and making brackets that are smaller and smoother for lingual braces. You also have the option to customize your brackets so as to ease the discomfort.

Short-term relief for discomforts caused by lingual braces includes using a topical tooth relief gel. You can also replace this with a small amount of wax placed over the sharp edges of your brackets. When you notice a wire scratching or poking a part of your mouth, you need to contact your orthodontist immediately. They can help by clipping the wires so they won’t hurt your mouth.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Lingual Braces

In summary, the advantages of getting lingual braces include aesthetics, effectivity, and customizability.

Because lingual braces are practically invisible, they are a good option to consider for those more image-conscious. You don’t have to worry about showing your braces whenever you smile. This means you can smile more without worry.

Additionally, lingual braces are effective for most bite problems. This type of treatment can correct most teeth misalignment cases.

They are also susceptible to bacteria, food fragments, and plaque build-up as is the case with all types of braces. This means that you need to practice good oral hygiene and that you need to include flossing in your routine.

Lastly, with lingual braces, you can customize the brackets and other appliances to suit your needs. This means you have the option to decrease the discomfort that comes with braces while maximizing the efficiency of the treatment.

Lingual braces come with their own set of disadvantages. They are more expensive than other types of braces and treatment. Lingual braces can also cause more discomfort especially during the first few weeks of treatment. This type of braces also gives you a temporary lisp. Lastly, the treatment can take longer compared to conventional metal braces.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, lingual braces are a good option for those who don’t want to be too obvious that they’re wearing braces. This is because they’re attached to the backside of your teeth making the braces practically invisible compared to traditional metal braces.

Depending on your location, insurance coverage, as well as the treatment plan, lingual braces can be more expensive than other types of braces. Aside from this, the treatment may take longer.

You need to prepare yourself for the slight discomfort and pain during the first few weeks of treatment with lingual braces. Aside from this, you should expect to develop a lisp for the first weeks up to months of your treatment.

With all this in mind, the best way to be sure if lingual braces are the best option for you is to visit and consult with your orthodontist. Having a specialist examine and analyze your teeth will give you the confidence of receiving the proper recommendation needed for your unique case.