Cost of lingual braces and how they work

Crooked and misaligned teeth are common problems, and a lot of people with these dental problems wish to correct them. When the thought of straightening the teeth occurs to most people, their mind always goes to metal braces. For the majority of these persons, the idea of having metals in their mouth and a horrible look is a total turn off.

The good thing is, you don’t need to use traditional metal braces. Although lingual braces use metals, your dentist will fit them behind your teeth, which makes then almost undetectable, which means that your smile will be perfect during your treatment.

The other benefits of using lingual braces are:

  • Having control of the treatment
  • Seeing the progress of the treatment
  • People of different ages who have any malocclusion can use them
  • Marks from the treatment are not visible

However, lingual braces have their downsides and other alternatives like ceramic braces and Invisalign.

If you want to use lingual braces, you need to know all these about them, and you can get all the information you need in this write-up such as how lingual braces work, their cost and all you should expect during and after your treatment.

Table of contents

  1. What are lingual braces?
  2. Types of lingual braces
  3. How much are lingual braces in the UK?
  4. How to save money on lingual braces
  5. Procedure for fitting lingual braces
  6. Conclusion

What are lingual braces?

Any orthodontic device said to be lingual indicates that the dentist places that device at the back of a tooth or the teeth, at the resting position of the tongue. The placement of the device ensures that people do not see it easily.

Lingual braces are an excellent orthodontic treatment for people who desire to have their teeth straightened inconspicuously. Children who experience bullying because of their appearance, and adults who want to look professional at work can use lingual braces. You can also consider lingual braces if you have an upcoming event that is big like a wedding or graduation and you do not want to appear with metal braces in pictures.

Lingual braces also called hidden braces, treats most types of misalignments and bite issues. They are sometimes called Incognito braces, but this is a brand of lingual braces, just like Invisalignis the common name for invisible braces.

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How do lingual braces work?

Lingual braces and traditional metal braces are similar. Both braces use brackets and wires to move the teeth into their right position gradually. You would also need dental visits every 6 – 8 weeks for your dentist to tighten and adjust the brackets and wires.

Most lingual braces are a one-fit all type, but sometimes, the orthodontist makes the brackets to fit each tooth. The custom-made type of lingual braces helps increase the pace of the treatment and gives the orthodontist more control over the final look of the teeth.

Custom-lingual braces also offer more comfort because they are smaller than the standard brackets, although they cost more than standard brackets due to these benefits they offer.

Comparison of lingual and traditional metal braces

Generally, lingual braces are more expensive compared to traditional metal braces, especially those that are custom-made for each tooth. Lingual braces also take a longer time to adjust during the regular check-ups. This means that you would pay more for the time your orthodontist spends on adjustment and the cost of the braces.

The NHS only offers traditional metal braces to people below 18 years and adults with severe cases of misalignment or malocclusion, so if you want a better looking or inconspicuous brace, you will have to pay for it privately.

For children to use lingual braces, their teeth have to be large enough to hold the brackets. Children who are not suitable for treatment with lingual braces can get alternatives like Invisalign Teen, which is more affordable.

A significant advantage of lingual braces over the traditional metal braces is that any damage on the teeth after treatment will be less visible. It is common for poor oral hygienic practices during treatment with fixed braces to leave the teeth with residues of plaques or some white spots.

Comparison between lingual braces and Invisalign

If your concern while straightening your teeth is for the braces to be inconspicuous, your options are invisible braces such as Invisalign and lingual braces.

Invisalign uses a different system of straightening the teeth, which involve clear plastic aligners to gradually move the teeth to their perfect position instead of metal brackets and wires. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, which means that people can only see them when they are close to you.

On the other hand, the orthodontist fixes lingual braces behind the teeth, so people cannot see them except you open your mouth very wide. Another less conspicuous treatment is clear braces, which is a better option to traditional metal braces but noticeable on a close-up view.

Invisalign offers the following benefits which make them an excellent alternative to hidden braces.

  • Invisalign aligners are less noticeable compared to metal braces
  • You can remove Invisalign aligners to clean your teeth, and this makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene
  • Invisalign treatment does not restrict you from eating anything, all you have to do is take out your aligners before eating, then clean your teeth before re-inserting them
  • You do not have to put up with metal brackets and wires that may cause injuries and mouth sores
  • Invisalign aligners are generally more affordable compared to lingual braces

Most times, it is the severity of your dental issue that determines the type of braces you will use. Invisalign is suitable for about 90% of orthodontic problems, but severe misalignments may require fixed braces.

To know if you are suitable for treatment with Invisalign, you will either visit your orthodontist to examine your teeth or take an online Invisalign smile assessment test.

Comparison of braces

The table below provides a summary of the comparison between lingual braces, traditional metal braces and Invisalign.

Lingual braces

Invisalign

Traditional metal braces

Estimated cost

£1,500 - £10,000

£1,500 - £5, 500

£1,500 - £3,000

Appearance

They are placed at the back of the teeth, so almost unnoticeable

Removable, barely noticeable

Very noticeable

Suitable for

All types of orthodontic issues

90% of orthodontic cases

All cases

Average length of treatment

12 – 18 months

12 – 18 months

12 – 18 months

Appointment frequency

6 – 8 weeks

4 – 6 weeks

6 – 8 weeks

Duration of appointment

30 minutes

15 minutes

15 minutes

Cleaning

Requires special cleaning

Teeth cleaning is normal because you can remove the aligners

Requires special cleaning effort

Orthodontist offering it in the UK

>35%

>75%

98%

From the comparison, lingual braces are more expensive than other types of braces, and dental visits require a longer time for adjustments. Invisalign is an alternative for those who want noticeable braces that are not as expensive as lingual braces. But you would take a smile assessment test to check your eligibility for Invisalign.

Types of lingual braces

If you are suitable for lingual braces and you think it is the best treatment option for you, you can choose between any of the available brands in the UK.

Incognito braces

Incognito braces are made in Germany and designed with advanced computer technology. The company makes each bracket flat to fit each patient’s tooth. Incognito braces interfere less with speech and are unlikely to cause mouth inflammation.

The braces consist of a gold alloy, so they are less likely to elicit allergic reactions and a full set costs from £4,000.

The Incognito braces parent company called 3Malso makes the Incognito Lite braces, an effective and more affordable treatment option for people who want to correct only the six or eight front teeth. This type of Incognito brace is usually half the price of a full Incognito brace set.

Self-ligating lingual brace system

People who want to use hidden braces can use the self-ligating system. Self-ligating hidden braces gradually adjust by itself, and this makes the treatment more comfortable than treatment with traditional braces which requires adjustments after a few weeks.

A popularly known brand of the self-ligating system is the STb light Lingual System made by Ormco, a company that also produces Damon braces.

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Non-custom system

This system is suitable for people who want to use lingual braces because of their discreetness but cannot afford the custom-made brands.

An example of non-custom lingual brace is the Forestadent braces made in Germany. Your orthodontist will fit the brackets directly on your teeth, so there is no need for the expensive customised braces from the lab.

You can use non-custom lingual braces to correct mild misalignments and other dental problems.

How much are lingual braces in the UK?

Lingual braces are generally more expensive than other braces in the UK. Non-custom lingual braces cost between £2,000 – £3,000, while more complex cases that need the custom-made lingual braces may cost as much as £10,000.

Some orthodontists cannot fix lingual braces as only specially trained orthodontists offer lingual braces treatment. This means that a specialist would fit your lingual braces and you would have to pay extra for the expertise. If you want to get the custom-made brands, you would also pay for the orthodontist’s extra time and effort required to shape the brackets to fit your teeth.

Bear in mind that the prices above are an average because the cost of orthodontic treatments, including lingual braces, vary depending on living and business cost in the area. This means that the cost of getting lingual braces in London may be higher than areas where rent and other things are lower.

Another factor that affects the cost of getting lingual braces is the competition in the area. If several dentists are offering lingual braces in an area, they will all keep their prices within a specific range, but in cases where only a few dentists are offering it, the price tends to be higher.

If you want to get lingual braces, try to search for other dentists outside your area that offers them to make a comparison of the prices. Also, put into consideration the regular appointments you would need throughout your treatment for adjustments and factor in the time and cost of getting to your dentist’s clinic.

Check the quotes you will be given for the cost of aftercare like follow-up visits and the retainer you need to preserve the new position of your teeth.

How to save money on lingual braces

The following methods can help you cutdown the cost of your lingual braces.

Mix and match

The upper teeth, in most cases, are more visible than the lower teeth when smiling. So, to save more money on your treatment, you can fit lingual braces behind your upper teeth and fit traditional braces or ceramic braces on your lower teeth.

If your misalignment is mild, you may decide to use lingual braces behind the front teeth only and leave out treatment for the back teeth.

Opt for cheaper alternatives such as ceramic braces or Invisalign

If you just want braces that won’t be easily noticed, you can opt for more affordable options like tooth-coloured ceramic or invisible braces.

For most persons, the best alternative is Invisalign clear aligners, which are virtually invisible and offers several other benefits listed earlier.

Check for cheaper brands

The brands listed earlier are the popular ones, but you can also research or ask different dentists for other cheaper, but effective brands of lingual braces.

Opt for payment plans

While searching for a dentist that offers lingual braces, look out for those that also provide payment plans to make treatment affordable. Some dentists offer payment plans with 0% interest rates, so you don’t have to pay more at the end of your treatment. You can also consider other options like getting a dental loan or paying with your credit card.

Insurance plans

Some dental insurance plans cover part of some orthodontic treatments like lingual braces, so check with your dental insurance provider if your plan could cover part of your treatment. Most basic plans only cover essential dental treatments, but premium dental insurance plans may cover part of the treatment.

Procedure for fitting lingual braces

The first step in getting your lingual braces fitted involves your dentist taking impressions of your teeth with a dental mould. Next, for custom-made braces, your dentist will send the impression to the lab to make the braces, which may take about six weeks.

When the lingual braces are ready, your orthodontist will use dental cement to attach each bracket to the right tooth. This might require two dental visits because the process is usually complicated.

After the initialfitting of lingual braces, you will need to visit your orthodontist every 6 – 8 weeks for check-ups. The check-ups will involve your orthodontist checking the progress of your treatment and making adjustments if necessary to keep your treatment on track.

You will be able to notice any change on your teeth from the first few weeks after fitting the braces because the brackets are behind the teeth. Due to the position of the braces, you may feel discomfort when you first fit the braces, which will subside as your mouth adjusts to the braces. You can place orthodontic wax on the area that irritates your tongue and take an over-the-counter pain to relieve the aches you may feel after the initial fitting and other adjustments. If you develop lisping, it will subside after a few days.

Treatment with lingual braces usually last for 12 – 18 months, but if your misalignment is a mild one, you may need only six months. Complex cases, on the other hand, may take a few years to correct.

Optimising lingual braces treatment

To manage and optimise your lingual braces treatment, try the following.

  • Brush with an electric toothbrush that has a special orthodontic head
  • Use orthodontic wax or tissue to make your mouth dry
  • Use interdental brushes
  • Use a straw to take drinks
  • Use mouthwash or breath freshener

Getting reviews of lingual braces

You can get several reviews from people who used or are still using lingual braces from online forums and YouTube. You can also get honest reviews by asking friends, family and colleagues because someone may have them on and you won’t notice them.

Conclusion

Your orthodontist will fit the brackets and connect the wires of your lingual braces behind your teeth, where your tongue rests. With this, people may not notice the braces, which is usually the main reason for choosing lingual braces.

Lingual braces can effectively straighten your teeth, but they are a more expensive treatment option. However, there are other cheaper alternatives like clear aligners, which are also inconspicuous and more comfortable compared to metal braces.

If you want to correct your misalignment with lingual braces or anyother type of brace, contact London Braces today on 020 37457520 to book an appointment with an experienced orthodontist.

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