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Lingual Braces

Lingual Braces in London

We are already conversant with the commonly used traditional metal braces placed in the front of the teeth. However, what sets lingual braces apart is the fact that they are rarely seen or visible because they are placed at the back of your teeth. Lingual braces are virtually invisible; this partly explains why most adult and teens often use them.

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What are lingual braces?

Lingual braces are one of the many types of fixed orthodontic treatment appliances available to patients who need orthodontic treatment. They are placed behind the teeth, by the tongue and palate, rather than in the front and therefore, offer an excellent alternative for orthodontics patients who want their teeth straightened without the braces showing.

The treatment process for lingual braces usually includes taking impressions of the teeth, which are then sent off to a dental laboratory where unique customised brackets are created. This process may take an average of six weeks, and once complete, the orthodontist utilises a specific process to cement the braces into the back surface of the teeth.

Just like traditional metal braces, the product works by applying continuous pressure on the teeth, to help them shift into their proper position. The treatment process may last for approximately 18 – 36 months, depending on the severity of the patient’s dental issues. No doubt, Braces are worth investing on as it helps in regaining every orthodontics patient’s smile and confidence. However, below are a few reasons why both teens and adult often embrace lingual braces for their orthodontic treatment.

Benefits of lingual braces 

  • They are discreet: it is essential to emphasise that lingual braces are entirely unobtrusive. In other words, they are virtually invisible, because they are attached behind your teeth, with fewer metals and brackets on view. In fact, most lingual wearers go through the orthodontic journey, without ever being noticed by friends and colleagues.
  • They are fixed: lingual braces are entirely fixed, they remain in their unique position until each treatment process is complete. However, with the fixed braces, it is often difficult for patients to misplace them.
  • Efficient and versatile: besides being virtually invisible, lingual braces are efficient as other treatment options when it comes to various complex misalignments including closing gap and correcting rotations.
  • Self-esteem intact: most orthodontics patients, find it very difficult to smile in photos or in the public when they are putting on metal braces. However, with the ‘almost’ invisible lingual braces, their self-confidence is completely regained
  • The shorter treatment period may be required: since braces are fixed permanently to the teeth until the treatment process elapses, the treatment option allows for a shorter treatment period.
  • Precise and predictable outcome: with the level of technology utilised, the dentist has detailed and precise control over teeth movements. More so, lingual braces provide a result that may meet and exceed any other orthodontic technique.

However, there are some major drawbacks to lingual braces too, which we will cover as we progress below:

  • Difficult to maintain: lingual braces are difficult to maintain, particularly for those having periodontal issues.
  • Complications may arise: lingual braces may create some issues for patients with deep and extreme overbite. This is because the overbite may result in large pressures on the bracket located at the back of the teeth and make them break out from the teeth so easily.
  • Speech difficulties: lingual braces can also result in some speech errors, especially when patients, are still adjusting after the brackets are placed. This effect may usually go away with time.

How do braces behind the teeth operate?

Just the same way traditional metal braces are known to operate, lingual braces utilise wire and bracket system to position the teeth into their unique position gradually. You may need to visit your dentist every 6-8weeks to have your braces well positioned and tightened. Braces are customised to fit each specific tooth and orthodontic issues.

However, in some cases, your dentist may decide to utilise standard brackets for specific dental issues. When braces are Customised, it speeds up the treatment process and gives your orthodontist vivid and concise control over outcomes and result. They also provide great comfortability to wearers as they often appear slimmer when compared to other clear aligners and traditional metal braces.

However, because each custom made braces are technologically inclined, they are often more expensive than other alternatives to orthodontic treatment.

Lingual vs traditional metal braces

No doubt, traditional metal braces are far more noticeable compared to lingual braces. Lingual braces are also more expensive than traditional metal braces. Especially for lingual braces that are customised to fit a patient tooth uniquely. Asides from the manufacturing cost, the cost for your dentist time during the course of treatment is also paid for.

In the UK, traditional braces are readily available and provided by the NHS, especially to qualifying teens and adults with severe orthodontic cases. However, Choosing a more pleasing style of brace may require extra charge and are much more expensive with a private dentist. There are often no age limit with regards to the set of individual that are meant to wear braces. In other words, children can wear lingual braces provided their teeth are large enough for lingual brackets.

However, the lingual braces are often preferred to traditional metal braces, since most damages to the teeth are usually less visible than with traditional braces. It is quite glaring that fixed braces can leave some plaque residue or white spots if proper hygiene is not kept. However, if any of the above likely occurs, the damage won’t be extremely obvious as may likely occur when traditional metal braces are utilised.

Lingual braces vs Invisalign

Invisalign clear aligners or braces are a great alternative to lingual Braces, especially for cases where patients are keen to fix barely noticeable braces.

Invisalign braces are a unique way to straighten your teeth without the use of any form of wires or brackets. An alternative to wires such as clear plastic aligners is usually utilised during the treatment process. The clear aligners help to gradually and gently move the teeth to its desired position.

Invisalign clear braces are often regarded to as “invisible”, but In most cases, they are not entirely invisible because they are quite noticeable with a prolonged view. However, on the other hand, lingual braces are designed in such a way that they are completely hidden unless your mouth is opened widely to display the back of your teeth.

Notwithstanding, several unique characteristics have been known to make Invisalign aligners a good, if not the best alternative to lingual braces. The Invisalign braces can be easily removed, unlike lingual braces which are permanently fixed to the teeth. With this unique property, flossing and cleaning the teeth is easy. There is also no form of food restrictions, unlike lingual braces, where patients are placed in some certain form of food restriction. Moreso, there are no metal parts that may hurt your tongue or cause mouth sores.

Generally speaking, Invisalign braces are often cheaper than lingual braces. The survey suggests that over 75% of orthodontists may utilise clear aligners for treatment than lingual braces. In other words, It is much easier to find a dentist offering Invisalign treatment than the one offering lingual braces treatment options.

While we have been able to explain the unique features of Invisalign braces, there are also some defects to Invisalign when compared to lingual braces. Invisalign patients may require a great degree of discipline in ensuring that their dentist rules and recommendations are obeyed, in order to ensure treatment and recovery process are hastened.

However, the below are quick cost and treatment plan estimates of the above-listed braces.

  • Lingual braces;

Cost estimate– ranges between £1500-£10,000

Treatments are suitable for all cases and may last between 12-18 months, depending on the severity of the dental issues

  • Invisible aligner ;

Cost estimate – treatment may range between £1500-£5,500

Treatment cases – may cover at least 85-90% of treatment cases.

Treatment length– approximately12-18 months

  • Traditional metal braces;

Cost– cost varies and may range from £1,500 to £3,000

Typical treatment length– 12-18 months.

Thus, if you want braces that are very difficult to spot and less expensive compared to lingual braces, Invisalign braces are a sure substitute for you as it ensures great comfortability to its wearers’

Types of lingual braces

Once a decision has been taken in selecting lingual braces for your orthodontic treatment, and you have been able to schedule an appointment with your dentist, you may be faced with little perplexity on the brand and type of lingual braces. However, below are a quick summary of the different brand and styles of lingual braces in the UK.

  • Self litigating lingual systems:

Lingual brace wearers can optimise the self litigating technology system to their advantage. However, with the self litigating system, the wire automatically adjusts itself in a gradual process, until the teeth are correctly positioned. This results in a more comfortable experience when compared to other treatment option especially traditional metal braces

  • Incognito braces

The incognito brand is specifically manufactured in Germany with advanced computer design and technology. Each brace is uniquely moulded to fit a specific tooth. In essence, this brand of braces rarely interfere with the patient’s speech or cause any form of inflammation in the mouth.

In the UK, incognito braces may be priced from £4,000 for every full set purchased. They are often expensive because they are manufactured with the finest materials ever. Incognito lingual braces are made from gold alloy which mitigates against any risk relating to an allergic reaction in the mouth. The company also produces other types of incognito braces, which are referred to as incognito lite braces. Incognito lite braces are often utilised by most orthodontics patients who only need to fix their first front teeth because of how cost-effective it has proven to be in the past. They are almost half the price of a full set.

  • Non-custom lingual braces

The system is manufactured in Germany and is often referred to as “the flattest lingual brackets in the world”. They are often utilised by patients who want absolute hidden braces, but can’t afford the high price of major customised lingual braces. The brackets are usually fixed directly behind the teeth without any form of customisation. This lingual brace is best utilised for patients requiring mild straightening.

Lingual braces cost estimates in the UK

The cost of lingual braces may vary and may range between £2000  and above.

For mild cases with less customised braces, lingual braces may range from £2,000-£3000 while complex cases with customised braces may often range between £5,000 and above. In some cases, custom made lingual braces may exceed £10,000.

A lot of orthodontic patients have complained about how expensive lingual braces are priced. However, it is important to note that not all orthodontists are specialists in lingual appliances. This means that you will, of course, be required to pay extra charges for the great expertise employed during the treatment process. More so, lingual braces and treatment procedure may also vary in different areas, which is why we often recommend that you get quotes from several dentists in your area. Since competition is inevitable, it is best you look around your area to ensure you get the best quote suitable for your orthodontal treatment journey.

Other ways to cut cost on hidden braces.

Asides from taking quotes from different dentists within your area, below are some of the few other ways you can save money on hidden Braces.

  • Make a research on other brands: we have been able to give an overview of some commonly used brands of lingual braces. You can ask your dentist for more recommendations, since some other lesser known brands may turn out to be more affordable than we least expected.
  • Consider mixing your braces: since the upper teeth are much more visible than the lower teeth, a very effective way to cut your cost are to mix some of the braces. For example, lingual braces may be used on your top arch, while Invisalign or traditional metal braces can be used on the lower arch. Moreso, for minor tooth correction, you may have your lingual braces on for just the front few teeth which are easily noticed.
  • Request for a payment plan: You can ask your dentist if they offer payment plans that will allow you to spread the cost of your treatment on a monthly basis, depending on your preference. Although this may not necessarily help you save, it has proven effective in making braces less expensive. In cases where your dentist does not offer a payment plan service, you may consider other financing options such as a loan and overdraft.
  • Consider cheaper alternatives to lingual braces: you may also decide to consider some other alternatives to lingual braces. Most orthodontics patient often opt for Invisalign clear aligners because of its number of benefits over lingual braces

Lingual braces treatment process

Most orthodontists may offer a free consultation to be sure you are a perfect candidate for lingual braces—when conclusions have been made, the next step will be to take some impressions of your teeth. This is usually done with a dental mould. Custom made braces may take a different procedure; your dentist will take some dental impressions of your teeth which are sent to a laboratory, where your braces will be created and customised. The process may last between 5 to 6 weeks, and then, they are ready for use. Your dentist will utilise a dental cement to fix each brace bracket to the affected tooth. Sometimes, the process may be spread over for two weeks to make the work less cumbersome and painful.

You will have regular checkups at least, every six to eight weeks to monitor the progress of your treatment as well as ensure the treatment process is going well as planned. The continued tension on your teeth keeps the teeth in the right direction.

You will also be able to notice your teeth changes within the first 2-3 weeks of your treatment.

It is also normal to experience some discomfort when your braces are fitted behind your teeth. However, an orthodontic wax will also be used to cover the parts which are irritating the tongue while aspirin is given to relieve the patient from any form of pain during and after subsequent adjustments have been made.

This treatment process may last for about 12-18 months or less, depending on the severity of the case.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an effective alternative to lingual braces, you may consider Invisalign braces since they are less expensive when compared to lingual braces. Getting lingual braces or any other type of braces is a big decision, ensure you schedule a prior consultation to ensure you are a perfect candidate for lingual braces.

However, We hope this article was super helpful in helping you decide on what’s right for you.

 

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