• Lingual Braces

LINGUAL BRACES: WHAT THEY COST AND HOW THEY WORK?

A lot of people with crooked and misaligned teeth are not pleased with it, and they want to straighten their teeth, but the idea of using traditional metal braces puts them off. There is good news for thiscategory of people— lingual braces can be your preferred teeth straightening option. It is made of metal and as efficient as traditional metal braces but they are fixed behind the teeth making them less visible and eliminating that train-track looking mouth.

Lingual braces offer other benefits like:

  • Visible results while treatment is on-going
  • Can be used by people of all ages and for all types of misalignments
  • Control over results
  • Marks left on the teeth will be hidden

Although there are some downsides to lingual braces which you will get to know as you read on but if you have lingual braces as your teeth straightening option, this article will give you information on how they work, their advantages over some other types of brace, what to expect after your treatment, how much they cost in the UK, and ways to make them affordable.

Table of contents

What Are Lingual Braces?

Lingual braces are commonly known as incognito braces, but this refers to a brand of lingual braces. Lingual braces are orthodontic devices used for straightening the teeth. They are fixed behind the teeth, where the tongue lies and is only noticed when the mouth is open.

Using lingual braces means that you get to straighten your teeth inconspicuously. And as a teenager, you won’t have to worry about bullying which is common to people using train-track braces.  Also, as an adult, you will not have to overthink about how people will see you or have anything altering your professional look.

If you have a big day ahead like a graduation or wedding, you can straighten your teeth without having to worry about a horrible looking mouth in your pictures plus you can correct a wide range of bite problems and malocclusion.

Call 020 71830755 today to speak to our dentist at Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic on Harley Street London for more information about lingual braces.

How Do Lingual Braces Work?

Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces. They make use of the wire and bracket system to straighten the teeth. The wire and brackets gradually shift the teeth into the correct position, and this will be achieved with your dentist making necessary adjustments during your scheduled visit every 6 – 8 weeks.

There are some types of braces available in London that use custom-made brackets to fit each tooth. These types of braces require shorter treatment time and allow your dentist to have greater control over your treatment. Custom-made brackets are slimmer than standard brackets and even more comfortable. However, custom-made brackets are more expensive than standard brackets since they are made to fit certain specifications.

Lingual braces Vs metal braces

Lingual braces are generally more expensive than metal braces, especially the custom-made ones. Since it takes a lot of time to adjust lingual braces on every visit to the dentist, you get to pay more for your dentist’s time.

Some insurance plans only cover the cost of getting metal braces for persons below 18 years and adults whose orthodontic issues may cause medical complications. If you need lingual braces, you will have to get them in a private dental clinic.Children can also use lingual braces as long as their teeth are large enough to accommodate the brackets.

One advantage of lingual braces over their metal counterparts is that any damage or mark left by the braces will be less visible than those of metal braces. It is common for fixed brace wearers to have plaque residue or white marks on the teeth due to poor oral hygiene, but at least with lingual braces, these damages will not be visible.

Lingual braces Vs Invisalign

Lingual braces and Invisalign are the common options when it comes to straightening the teeth inconspicuously.Invisible braces like Invisalign straighten the teeth differently. They do not use the regular wire and bracket system bus use a series of plastic clear aligners to gradually shift the teeth to the right position.

Invisalign aligners are not invisible but are not easily seen except when you are close to the wearer, but lingual braces which are primarily designed to be fitted at the back of the teeth can only be seen when the mouth is open.

Here are a few reasons that make Invisalign clear aligners an excellent alternative to lingual braces.

  • They are less noticeable compared to metal braces
  • You can eat whatever you want as long as you remove the aligners first
  • They can be removed making it easy to clean the teeth
  • They are not as expensive as lingual braces
  • They do not have metal parts that cause mouth sores

However, to get a good result from treatment with Invisalign clear aligner, you have to be disciplined as you need to wear then for 20 -22 hours every day. Invisalign braces are also not suitable for the treatment of severe types of malocclusions.

Comparison of Invisalign aligners, metal, and lingual braces

The table below gives a summary of the three types of braces earlier discussed.

Type of brace Appearance Estimated cost Suitable for Average treatment time Appointment frequency Duration of appointment Percentage of dentist offering this type in the UK Cleaning

Invisalign aligners

Difficult to notice and removable

£1,500 - £5,500

90% of orthodontic cases

12 – 18 months

4 – 6 weeks

15 minutes

>75 %

Teeth can be cleaned normally

Metal

Very noticeable

£1,500 – £3,000

All cases

12 – 18 months

6 – 8 weeks

15 minutes

98 %

Special cleaning  is needed

Lingual

Almost invisible and hidden behind the teeth

£1,500 - £10,000

All cases

12 – 18 months

6 – 8 weeks

30 minutes

>35%

Cleaning requires special effort

 

From the table, lingual braces cost more than other types of braces and require longer appointment time. If you need braces that are difficult to notice but are not too expensive, you can try Invisalign clear aligners.

Types of lingual braces

If you decide to go for lingual braces, you can choose from the options available at our Harley street dental clinic.

These lingual brace types include:

Incognito braces

Incognito braces are manufactured in Germany from an alloy of gold using advanced design technology. The brackets are moulded to fit the teeth and are usually flat. This feature makes them interfere less with speech and reduce the chances of mouth inflammation.

In London, Incognito lingual braces cost from £4,000 for a complete set. Another type of incognito braces known as Incognito Lite are less expensive and are suitable for those who want to straighten only their front six or eight teeth.

Self-ligating lingual system

Self-ligating lingual braces are made to adjust itself gradually while straightening the teeth automatically. They are more comfortable than traditional metal braces since they do not require appointments to tighten them every few weeks.

STB lingual braces are one of the self-ligating brands available in London.

Non-custom systems

Forestadent braces are a type of non-custom system of lingual braces. They are produced in Germany from standardised parts and are claimed to be the flattest type of lingual braces in the world. Forestadent braces are an option for people who want to use lingual braces but do not have enough money to get the custom-made brands.

This brand of lingual braces is suitable for people whose teeth are mildly crooked.

Cost of lingual braces in the UK

The cost of lingual braces is available in a wide range. Ordinary cases that require standard brands cost from £2,000 - £3,000 while custom-made brands cost as much as £10,000.

Lingual braces require orthodontists that are specially trained to have them fitted. This means that you will have to pay an expert to get the job done and this may cost so much. You can visit any of our orthodontists at Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic for this.

The price of lingual braces varies greatly, just like any other dental treatment. The cost depends on the dentist and the location of the dental clinic. Other factors like competition, may influence the price of lingual braces.

You can also look beyond your local area when you decide to get lingual braces, and you will also consider transportation to the dental clinic because of the regular check-ups involved during your treatment. 

You should check if the cost of your aftercare is included when you are given the quote for your treatment. Aftercare may include follow-up appointments and retainers.

Ways to save money on lingual braces

Apart from comparing quotes around your local area, you can save more on lingual braces with the following

  • Mix and match- since the upper teeth are more visible than the lower teeth, you can use metal braces on the lower teeth and lingual braces on the upper teeth to cut cost.

For minor corrections, you can use lingual braces on the front teeth that are easily noticed and leave the back teeth as they are.

  • Go for cheaper options like ceramic braces or Invisalign- if your problem is the visibility of your treatment option, you can go for less expensive alternatives like tooth-coloured ceramic braces or clear aligners like Invisalign.
  • Research different brands- you can make enquires for other less expensive brands. They may not be popular, but at least they can get the job done. Ask your dentist which other brands will be right for you.
  • Spread the cost- you can go for the dentist that allows you to pay in instalments. Ensure that the payment plan has a 0% interest rate, or you will end up paying more. You can also consider other finance options like a loan or credit card.
  • Insurance plans- you can check if your health insurance plan will cover part of your orthodontic treatment. Most basic plans cover the cost of essential orthodontic work, but a premium plan may cover part of the treatment.

Fitting lingual braces

If you have a custom-made type, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth which will be sent to the laboratory where your braces will be made. This usually takes about 6 weeks.Your orthodontist will fix each braces bracket to each tooth with dental cement. This procedure may be done over two appointments.

You will be scheduled for check-ups every 6 – 8 weeks with your orthodontist to check how well your teeth is responding to the treatment. Your orthodontist will make the necessary adjustments on the wire to ensure the teeth move in the right direction.

You will be able to see the changes in your teeth after a few weeks since the braces are behind your teeth and you will still have a clear view of your teeth.

You may experience a little discomfort or develop a lisp after the first fitting, but you will get used to it in no time. You can use orthodontic wax to cover any part of the brace irritating your tongue. Over-the-counter pain killers like paracetamol should be enough to stop the pain and ache after the first fitting.

Most lingual brace treatment lasts for 12 – 18 months but some minor corrections may last for only 6 months while some complex cases may take several years to be completed.

Conclusion

Lingual braces are fitted behind the teeth and made of bracket connected with a wire. People mostly go for lingual braces because it can only be seen when the mouth is open. They are an effective and inconspicuous option to straighten the teeth, but this comes at a high cost especially when you want a custom-made one.

There are other alternatives to lingual braces that are not as expensive and not easily detected like clear aligners and tooth-coloured braces.

If you have any questions about lingual braces, you can call us on 020 71830755 to speak to our dentist at Cosmetic Dentistryclinic in Harley Street Clinic.