You’d like a perfect smile, but you just can’t stand the thought of having metal or clear braces for months or even years. What about your job? And the special events you’ll be attending? You’re just not sure you want to commit to braces. Is Invisalign your only option? What if it won’t work in your case?
Fortunately, you do have another option. Lingual braces are another, nearly-invisible option for those seeking esthetically-pleasing orthodontic treatment.
What Are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces are much like traditional braces, except that the metal brackets are attached to the inside of the teeth instead of the outside. (Lingual means tongue; the brackets are on the tongue side of the teeth.) Because they’re on the back of the teeth, lingual braces are hidden, so that people see your smile instead of your braces. This allows you smile confidently, knowing that no one will notice your braces.
If you’re thinking about braces but are concerned about esthetics, you might also be considering Invisalign. Invisalign works differently from braces; it uses a set of removable plastic aligners to straighten teeth. While Invisalign might be right for some people, lingual braces are a better choice for others.
Why Choose Lingual Braces?
Some patients know before their orthodontic treatment begins that they will not be compliant enough to wear their Invisalign aligners at least 22 hours a day. Or maybe they don’t want to be bothered with having to take their aligners off every time they eat or drink. But they still are looking for an orthodontic option that is more esthetic than regular clear braces. For these patients, lingual braces may be the perfect option.
What Are the Downsides?
Even though braces are still being used, there are several differences involved that make lingual braces more expensive than traditional braces. Usually, there are additional steps that are required to place these brackets on the tongue side of the teeth, as well as special pre-formed wires that are used. In addition, working behind the teeth requires more time and special instruments that are designed for lingual braces. Even if you have dental insurance that covers orthodontics, the extra cost associated with lingual braces is generally considered a cosmetic expense, and is therefore not covered by insurance.
Because lingual braces are on the tongue side of your teeth, they can affect your speech. This is usually temporary and goes away, as you learn to work around them when you speak. Sometimes, they also affect chewing, although this is also temporary.
Accelerated Tooth Movement
Most people want the fastest possible orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, there have been some recent advances in orthodontic research focusing on ways to accelerate tooth movement. Finding safe, non-invasive, and effective ways to accelerate tooth movement is something that interests both Dr. Eleni and Dr. Abraham, and they are bringing these options to their patients. In fact, studies are showing that accelerated tooth movement can dramatically decrease treatment time. That means less time between archwire changes, and a quicker final result. Learn more on our Accelerated Orthodontics page.
Would Lingual Braces Work For You?
Now that you’ve learned about your options, you might be wondering whether lingual braces or Invisalign would be the better choice for you. The only way to find out is to visit an orthodontist qualified in these methods, who can examine you and give you personalized advice. If you’re in Flushing, Bayside, or the surrounding area, come visit us at our Whitestone office. Our two highly-qualified orthodontists, Dr. Eleni and Dr. Abraham, have extensive training and experience in lingual braces, Invisalign, and other methods of treatment. Come and visit our doctors for a free initial exam and consultation, so you can have all of the information you need to make the best decisions for your smile.