Lingual Braces Vs Invisalign- Making the Right Choice for Straightening Your Teeth

Posted | Invisalign, lingual braces

Lingual Braces vs Invisalign

When it comes to straightening your teeth, the decision between lingual braces and Invisalign can be a challenging one. Both options offer unique features and benefits that cater to different preferences and treatment needs.

For instance, the BMC Oral Health study says Invisalign patients have better periodontal health and are more satisfied. But another study by the American Journal of Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics: an official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists, says they are not very effective in treating malocclusions.

Speaking of which, out of all drivers, the two most important ones are cost comfort, aesthetics and treatment duration. 

This blog will cover all the nuances related to lingual braces vs Invisalign. What they are, how they work, and some vital determiners to consider. Let’s dive in!

Lingual Braces vs Invisalign: A Quick Summary

Keep in mind these factors when choosing between Invisalign vs lingual braces.

Characteristics Lingual braces Clear aligners
Cost $8000-13000 $4500-8500
Visibility More discreet than Invisalign Invisible but still visible due to tooth-colored buttons attached
Suitability All cases 90% of times only (cannot work in complicated cases)
Treatment length 12-24 months 12-24 months
Frequency of visits 6-8 weeks 8-12 weeks
Appointment duration 30-45 minutes 20-30 minutes
Oral Hygiene Needs special cleaning to remove plaque from the back surface Must remove tray to brush and floss teeth. Should brush and floss after every meal so bacteria isn’t trapped between aligners and teeth.

Everything About Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces. But lingual brace wires are applied to the back surface of your teeth. This makes it aesthetically appealing since the braces are incognito to the naked eye. It’s a discreet way for you to give shape to your teeth.

How Do They Work?

Lingual braces have brackets and wires similar to normal braces. The only difference is that these brackets are bonded to the back surface of your teeth. These brackets are connected through a wire. Your orthodontist will gradually adjust the wire. This will ensure braces put just the right amount of pressure and move the teeth in the right direction.

Advantages

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: One significant advantage of lingual braces is their hidden placement.
  • You don’t have to remove them when having meals.
  • Treatment Capabilities: Lingual braces are effective in treating a wide range of orthodontic issues, including complex malocclusions and more severe dental concerns. In comparison, Invisalign is typically recommended for mild to moderate cases
  • Speech and Comfort: While both lingual braces and Invisalign may require an adjustment period, some individuals find that lingual braces have a minimal impact on their speech, especially after a short adaptation period.

Apart from this, research by the American journal of Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics reveals lingual braces are great at controlling the mesial movement of molars.

Disadvantages

  • Orthodontist Training: The application of lingual braces requires specific techniques different from those used for conventional braces. Not all orthodontists are trained in the placement of lingual braces, which may limit the availability of this treatment option in certain areas.
  • Discomfort: Like any orthodontic treatment, lingual braces can cause discomfort and pain as the teeth begin to shift. Lingual braces may particularly cause discomfort on the tongue due to the brackets’ location.
  • Can lead to lisping
  • Oral Hygiene Challenges: Prone to plaque buildup.
  • Treatments Costs: Typically more expensive than Invisalign.
  • Treatment Duration: Lingual braces may require a longer treatment duration compared to conventional braces.

Everything About Invisalign Braces

Invisalign or clear aligners involve a sets of clear plastic trays. For each set of trays, you will wear them over your teeth for two weeks. These trays are customized so they set perfectly over your teeth and don’t come loose.

However, Invisalign trays can be more noticeable than lingual braces. But you can remove them during meals or in other cases, which is a big advantage. But to get the best results, you must wear the trays for at least 20-22 hours.

How Do They Work?

Clear aligners, just like braces, will put a certain amount of force on your teeth and help them move to the desired location. Attachments are the most vital element of clear aligners. These are tooth-colored materials applied to the surface of teeth. They will create small bumps, helping your orthodontic device to better grab onto your teeth and move faster.

Advantages

  • They are more discreet than traditional braces.
  • Invisalign is easy to clean since they are removable.
  • They are less expensive than lingual braces.

Disadvantages

  • Compliance and Responsibility:Invisalign treatment requires a high level of patient compliance. The aligner trays need to be worn for at least 20-22 hours per day and changed every 1-2 weeks as directed by the orthodontist.
  • Eating and Drinking Restrictions: Invisalign trays should be removed before eating or drinking anything other than water.
  • Can have fittings issues and cause lisping.
  • Unsuitability for Certain Cases: Invisalign may not be suitable for every orthodontic case. Complex bite issues or severe misalignments may require the use of traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments.

Appearance For Invisalign Vs Lingual Braces

Both lingual braces and Invisalign are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional braces. However, lingual braces are more discreet. You can talk, eat, and smile easily without people knowing you are wearing braces.

Contrary to that, Invisalign is detectable. Though you can remove them when eating or clicking pictures. Invisalign has tooth-colored buttons, easily identifiable to the naked eye. They can even be seen even after you remove the alignment tray.

Lingual Braces Vs Invisalign: Comfort And Oral Maintenance

Invisalign is the clear winner here. It’s comparatively the most comfortable treatment process than other alternatives. The tray exerts pressure on teeth, leading to soreness. But they are not as sharp as wires of braces and don’t lead to discomfort when aligning teeth.

The biggest complaint lingual braces users make is that sometimes wires poke into gums and lips, leading to inflammation. Moreover, your tongue will face constant friction, causing problems with biting and making it hard to swallow during an adjustment period. They also may lead to temporary lisping and speech adjustments.

Besides, Invisalign is easy to floss and clean. You must remove them, clean the tray, and put it back. But with lingual braces, they often trap food debris. When not cleaned can cause tooth decay.

Invisalign vs Lingual Braces: Speed of Treatment And Effectiveness

The speed of treatment is more or less the same for both lingual braces and Invisalign. Both work effectively and will help you get the perfect smile. With Invisalign compliance and wearing the aligners could be an issue. Lingual braces solve numerous dental issues that Invisalign won’t be able to fix and give your teeth a perfect shape. Lingual braces also solve problems like

  • Crooked teeth,
  • Overcrowding
  • Correct bites

Conclusion

This blog has covered one of the most debated and frequented orthodontic questions: Lingual braces vs. Invisalign. That and how they work, pros and cons, and a detailed view of Invisalign vs. lingual braces on myriad parameters.

Appearance, cost, and comfort matter when choosing between the two. But still, remember that your orthodontist will help you make the final decision. They will make a comprehensive report of your dental condition and suggest treatment that will best suit your needs, as there are many that Invisalign will not cover. Discuss the pluses and minuses with them and choose what’s right for you.

Author: Dr. Tisseront

I feel very fortunate to have found a profession as rewarding as the field of Orthodontics! For over 20 years, I have enjoyed creating custom, beautiful smiles for our family of patients all over the Northern Virginia area. You can even find some of our loyal patients across the country and abroad!

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