Lingual Braces Behind the TeethInvisible braces for teens & adults in Bellevue, WA
What are Lingual or Invisible Braces?
Lingual or invisible braces are braces that sit on the back side of the teeth. As a result, hidden lingual braces have the unique advantage of being the only truly invisible way of straightening teeth! This makes them the treatment option of choice for teens and adults wanting a smile transformation without anybody knowing.
Deciding on Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are an attractive option for teens and adults seeking a truly invisible solution to their orthodontic needs. This is probably the most common deciding factor for many prospective patients.
However, there are other considerations to keep in mind. Depending on your teeth, the conditions you present with, and your personal preferences, we may recommend lingual or invisible braces. Lingual braces are an option for a many conditions including:
- Mild, moderate and severe biting conditions alike
- Severe overbites
- Excessive crowding or spacing
- Jaw misalignment
The good news is that we are here to help you decide whether lingual braces are right for you. At your initial free consultation, we will discuss all of your treatment options.
Who can have Hidden Lingual Braces?
Anyone who can wear traditional braces can have invisible braces! In fact, our patients with lingual braces range from 13 to 80 years old!
How do Lingual or Invisible Braces Work?
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. Using a 3D scan of your teeth, we will fit the lingual braces to a 3D printed resin model. A flexible transfer tray will then be made to apply them all at once to your teeth. This helps make the first appointment smoother and faster. Once the brackets are applied behind the teeth, they are connected by a wire. Over the course of treatment, we will change your wires and make adjustments as necessary to move the teeth in their proper position.
Hybrid Treatment – Using the right tool for the right job
In the same way that you would not use a hammer to drive a screw, orthodontic treatment relies on using the right tool for the right job. Lingual braces are a great option for many of our patients! But in some individuals, it may be necessary to wear lingual braces in one jaw and clear aligners in another, at least for some time. This is called hybrid treatment. Hybrid treatment capitalizes on each appliances’ strengths to deliver faster and better treatment outcomes! The need for hybrid treatment will depend on your orthodontic problems and will be discussed at your free initial consultation.
Advantages 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 or tooth damage
A common and unfortunate side-effect of traditional braces on the outside of the teeth are residual white spots. These occur when plaque builds up around the metal brace, often due to inadequate brushing, and are most common in adolescents. Because lingual or invisible braces are on the backside 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 predictably 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 and cannot be removed.
Minimal long-term 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.
What you should know about lingual braces
Just like other treatment modalities, braces behind the teeth are not perfect and have several side effects. These usually take place soon after the braces are put on. They also impact some people more so than others and it is often difficult to know who will be most impacted. However, you should know is that if you start treatment with us, we are here for you! Having worn lingual braces ourselves, we have developed strategies to counteract some of the discomforts of lingual braces and will be sure to share them with you. We also monitor our phones and emails 24/7 and will make sure you are comfortable through the duration of treatment.
The 2 major side effects of lingual braces are:
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.
Initial 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
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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!
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