What are Lingual or Invisible Braces?
Simply put, lingual or invisible braces are braces behind the teeth.
They work just as well as braces on the outside of teeth, but unlike braces on the outside of the teeth or clear aligners like Invisalign, they have the unique advantage of being completely and truly invisible!
They offer a unique way of straightening teeth without anybody knowing!
- Invisible – worn behind the teeth
- Best treatment available – custom designed for your teeth, lingual braces are the quickest and most effective orthodontic treatment option
- Made in-house – We 3D print braces behind the teeth in our office, so you get the fastest treatment possible
Deciding on Types of Braces
Much like solving a puzzle, there are many ways of going about straightening teeth.
But the key to efficiency is “using the right tool for the right job.”
That is why we use a personalized approach to your orthodontic needs.
Depending on your teeth, the conditions you present with, and your personal preferences, we may recommend lingual or invisible braces, or a combination of braces behind the teeth and clear aligners like Invisalign.
This is especially true for patients seeking a truly invisible solution to their orthodontic needs, since lingual or invisible braces are the ONLY type of braces that is truly invisible.
Lingual Braces vs Traditional Braces
Lingual or invisible braces work just as well as traditional braces on the outside of the teeth, and in some cases, are more efficient than both traditional braces and clear aligners like Invisalign.
Brackets are applied behind the teeth and subsequently connected with a wire.
Over the course of treatment, we will change your wires and make adjustments as necessary as the teeth align.
Pros & Cons of Lingual Braces
Compared to traditional braces, lingual or invisible braces offer unique advantages:
- A truly invisible solution. Most notably, lingual braces are the only type of braces that are truly invisible, beating both traditional braces and clear aligners like Invisalign in terms of visibility and esthetics.
- No visible white spots. A common and unfortunate occurrence with traditional braces on the outside of the teeth are white spots. These occur when plaque builds up around the metal brace, often due to poor oral hygiene. Because lingual or invisible braces are on the inside of the teeth, there are no concerns of unsightly white spots once you are done with treatment. However, good oral hygiene is still paramount!
- Less compliance dependent. The biggest advantage of clear aligners is that they can be taken off during treatment. Unfortunately, that is also their biggest downfall. The reason for this is that teeth will not move predicted and treatment will take longer if aligners are not worn 22+ hours daily. This is not an issue with lingual or invisible braces since the braces are glued onto your teeth.
- Decreased speech changes compared to clear aligners. Patients with clear aligners often complain of slurred or slushy speech when wearing their aligners. While patients with lingual braces often experience speech changes in the first weeks following braces application, these symptoms often go away and do not linger throughout treatment.
Just like other methods of straightening teeth, braces behind the teeth are not perfect. Some of their disadvantages include:
- Initial tongue irritation. Much like traditional braces, braces behind the teeth can result in tongue irritation in the first weeks following braces application. But don’t worry, we have managed countless patients over the years and have developed strategies to help with those symptoms. For example, we use “low-profile” braces so that the braces do not stick out and irritate your tongue.
- Speech changes. Because lingual or invisible braces are glued to the same surface of the teeth that are used for speech, it is not uncommon for patients to develop changes to their speech in the first weeks following the application of your braces. Fortunately for many patients, these changes usually dissipate within 2-4 weeks following the application of your braces and tend to be less of a problem in the long run compared to clear aligners like Invisalign.
Lingual Braces FAQs
Who can have lingual or invisible braces?
Anyone who can wear traditional braces can have lingual or invisible braces! In fact, our lingual or invisible braces patients range from 13 to 80 years old!
Do lingual braces hurt?
Much like a pair of new shoes that need breaking into, all types of braces require some getting used to in the first several weeks. It is common for patients with braces behind the teeth to experience tooth soreness and for the braces to irritate your tongue and gums in the first couple of weeks. However, just like traditional braces, these symptoms soon go away as the teeth begin to move.
Where can I learn more about braces behind the teeth?
As a leader in braces behind the teeth, Dr. Riolo regularly updates his blog with the newest research and advances in the field of lingual orthodontics. You can email us a question directly and one of our team members or orthodontists will do their best to answer any questions you may have. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have during your initial complimentary examination!
Do you offer braces behind the teeth?
We are the Pacific Northwest’s largest provider of lingual orthodontics and one of the most experienced lingual orthodontic practices in North America. In our downtown location (www.SeattleOrthodontist.com) 70% of our patients use Lingual Braces (braces placed behind the teeth). We also offer lingual orthodontic treatment (braces behind the teeth) at our other two locations in Madrona and Bellevue, WA.
How much do behind the teeth braces cost?
Because lingual or invisible braces offer the unique advantage of being the only type of braces that are truly invisible, there is no hiding that they cost a little more than traditional braces. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to your smile and not all teeth are created equal—some conditions require more extensive treatment. That is why we take a personalized approach to treating each and every one of our patients. As such, the cost of your treatment will depend on your treatment needs. We will be happy to review the cost of your treatment based on your treatment concerns and needs at your initial appointment—completely free of charge! The important thing to remember is, we are committed to working with you to make the orthodontic treatment you desire and deserve a reality!
What are lingual braces?
Lingual Braces or Lingual orthodontics involves placing very small orthodontic brackets behind the teeth rather than on the front of the teeth. Unlike Clear Aligner (like Invisalign for example), the same treatments can be accomplished using lingual technique as traditional orthodontics. In other words, any treatment that can be done using traditional orthodontics can also be done with lingual orthodontics including, complex treatment involving extraction of teeth and orthognathic surgery.
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