Lingual braces pros and cons

Lingual braces pros and cons

Lingual braces are the second most popular bite correction method in adults
Lingual braces are braces that are attached to the inner surface of the teeth. They made a breakthrough in orthodontics, eliminating the main problems of classic braces, gaining a huge advantage over other braces.

Any orthodontic design, no matter how useful it is, has its pros and cons. So it was at one time with the classic braces, which won the love and hate of millions and still stand "guarding the bite", bringing considerable benefit to patients. But they were replaced first by their improved competitors, then - invisible, lingual, which took away their audience from the classics. Then lingual braces began to be improved - thinner, lighter, more invisible, with combined anti-allergic materials. The trend of progress is understandable, right?

Bite correction is a very popular service. The bite affects not only the appearance of a person and his self-esteem but also the state of health in general - which is why it is so important to correct the dentition in a timely manner. But the trouble is - conventional braces are very noticeable on the teeth - and not all people want to let others know about their plans for orthodontic treatment.
For those who want to keep this a secret, there are inconspicuous methods of correcting the position of the teeth.

What methods does modern orthodontics offer?

Generally speaking, the visibility of a system is not always a con. Many people do just not bother with it, they, on the contrary, emphasize the presence of an orthodontic design in the mouth - for example, they choose multi-colored locks or bright ligatures. But there are those for whom it is important that the design is not conspicuous.

There are three options for them:
The use of standard braces (buccal - fixed on the outside of the teeth) with locks matched to the color of the enamel. In some cases, the metal arc is also painted.
The use of lingual braces (it is fixed on the inner side of the teeth and is not noticeable when smiling)
Ordering a set of clear aligners, also sometimes called "invisible braces". They, in fact, are not braces, but they work just as well.

Let's consider the pro and cons of each braces method.

Buccal braces

Classic orthodontic construction that is fixed on the outside of the teeth. Despite the fact that it is difficult to call them invisible, they can still be invisible due to the locks matched to the color of the enamel - ceramic, sapphire, or plastic.

This type of orthodontic appliance is suitable for almost everyone;
The vestibular systems are very effective in correcting common malocclusion;
The cost of such models is lower than that of other invisible systems.

Both ceramic and plastic clasps are fragile enough - they require significant dietary restrictions;
Sapphire clasps are durable but expensive enough;
Such models are not completely invisible, but simply not too noticeable.

Lingual braces

They are fixed on the inner (lingual) side of the teeth. It is difficult for even a very attentive observer to see them.
The lingual technique has been around since the 1970s. It is particularly useful for patients who place particularly high demands on aesthetics or who simply want to prevent the corrective measure from being immediately recognizable to everyone when they smile or speak. Societies for so-called lingual orthodontics have existed around the world since the mid-1990s. The most successful European treatment concept for lingual technology is now considered to be that of Prof. Dr. Dirk Wiechmann, a German orthodontist, developed the system.

Pros of lingual braces. The lingual technique is particularly suitable for correcting serious misalignments such as cross bite or cover bite. Even if the teeth are missing or after teeth have been pulled, braces can be adjusted to e.g. B. pulling intact teeth further back in the jaw forward into a gap and thus closing the row of teeth.

At the request of the patient and in consultation with the treating dentist or orthodontist, "invisible" braces can be used instead of visible brackets in many cases. And in order to meet the increasing need for the most inconspicuous and aesthetic tooth corrections possible, the lingual technology is constantly being further developed by experts, scientists and dentists.

Especially adults who decide to have their teeth straightened late, often place great value on the inconspicuousness of the braces . Lingual braces offer the option of almost invisible tooth correction - ideal, for example, for people who have a lot of customer contact in their professional life and do not want to distract the attention of their counterpart from the essentials with braces.

But also many young people find it easier to wear the brackets and to endure the therapy if there are no wire arches, straps, etc. from the outside. you can see. The components of the bracket system are precisely planned on the computer and then individually manufactured in the laboratory. Another advantage is that the front of the teeth remain fully visible. In this way, every treatment progress can be recognized immediately, and the immediate sense of achievement strengthens motivation.

In principle, lingual braces can be worn by adults and adolescents as soon as the tooth change is complete. Whether and why the lingual technique is suitable for tooth correction is always checked and ultimately decided by the physician for each individual case.
Lingual braces are truly invisible;
The surface of the braces themselves is smoother than that of the buccal braces systems - they do not injure the mucous membranes of the mouth;
This is a fairly effective method of bite correction.

Cons of lingual braces
With the lingual technique, it is comparatively time-consuming and complicated to fine-tune the teeth during the correction . This is because with the brackets attached to the insides of the teeth, it is much more difficult to coordinate the forces acting on the teeth.

Many patients therefore have difficulty speaking with the invisible braces during the first two to three months.

Overall, the lingual technique means a higher expenditure of time - both in terms of the time spent in the dentist's chair and the overall duration of the therapy. In addition, it is quite expensive compared to a conventional, externally attached bracket system.

Even after taking into account all grants from the health insurance or additional dental insurance, there is usually a significantly higher personal contribution left that the patient has to pay out of his own pocket or finance privately.

Lingual braces are not suitable for everyone - they are not used for some types of malocclusion;
Longer, in comparison with classical systems, the period of adaptation - for some time after the installation, diction disturbance may persist;
Lingual braces systems are more expensive than buccal models.

Transparent mouthguards(Retainer Braces)

Aligners are made according to a computer model, taking into account the initial data and the desired result. You receive a set of ready-made mouth guards, usually, they need to be replaced every two weeks - after two weeks of wearing, you replace the mouthguard with the next one. They apply gentle pressure to the teeth, moving them to the desired position.

Pros of retainer braces
Mouthguards are a good alternative to bracket systems, they show excellent results in correcting certain types of malocclusion;
The mouthguards are removable, which greatly facilitates oral hygiene;
It is also an invisible system: mouthguards are transparent, it is quite difficult to see them on the teeth.

The cost of a set of orthodontic aligners is quite high;
This type of bite correction can be used not for all types of disorders - for example, with strong crowding of teeth, it is impossible to correct the bite with mouth guards;
If one of the splints is damaged, it will be quite expensive to make a copy of it.

What invisible braces to choose

When choosing a method of inconspicuous bite correction, it is necessary to take into account not only and not so much the patient's personal preferences, but the state of his dentition. Therefore, it is so important to visit an orthodontist who will diagnose and recommend the right model for you. The doctor will tell you more about each model and help you make the right choice.

The correct bite is not only the beauty of a smile but also a good state of health, so do not postpone the correction of the dentition until later.


Lingual Orthodontic Treatment: What is the Current Evidence Base?(Angela Auluck)
Lingual orthodontic appliances: invisible braces(J C Muir)
Lingual orthodontics as an aesthetic resource in the preparation of orthodontic/surgical treatment(Silvana Allegrini Kairalla, Aluísio Galiano, Luiz Renato Paranhos)

Den Tim

Practicing Dentistry for 20 years