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What are lingual braces and what is the price in the UK?

24 February · 6 minutes

Orthodontics is one of the most popular dental treatments, and for good reason. Thanks to orthodontics, millions of people have been able to fix their overbite, gaps and dental crowding, among other issues. Additionally, in recent years orthodontic treatments have become more innovative, with apparatuses like lingual braces and removable aligners. These methods have revolutionized the world of oral health and aesthetics, and best of all, these treatments are just as effective as traditional orthodontics and are already widely used by adolescents and adults around the world.

What are lingual braces and what are they used for?

Many people who need orthodontic treatment may wonder, what is lingual orthodontics? Well, they’re hidden braces that are placed on the inside of the teeth so that the treatment isn’t noticeable to others. The braces are joined by a metal arch that exerts pressure on the teeth, so that they gradually move until perfect alignment is achieved. They can be made of different materials and can come in different shapes, depending on the brand or type used by the orthodontist.

Patient describing lingual braces pain to a specialist

What are lingual braces used for and who can wear them?

If you are wondering what lingual braces do and who they’re for, we’ll start by saying that they’re ideal for those who want to fix their teeth discreetly. For example, people who work in the public eye or anyone who must maintain a perfect image in their professional environment. Additionally, this type of orthodontics is also suitable for adolescents and children.

Lingual braces are just as effective as traditional braces and can solve all kinds of bite problems. They are especially recommended to treat cases of overbite, crowding, overjet and crossbite.

As with any orthodontic treatment, it’s the orthodontist who will suggest the treatment that best suits you. After the professional has analyzed your case and confirmed that their recommendation falls within your budget, you can start your lingual orthodontic treatment.

Types of lingual braces

As mentioned above, there are many different lingual braces types on the market. The choice of a particular type is usually based on the recommendation of your orthodontist, your preferences and your budget.

Gold lingual orthodontics

These brackets are the most modern and comfortable brackets on the market; because they are the thinnest. Being moulded in gold allows them to adopt the exact shape of your teeth and fit them perfectly. This feature makes treatment much more pleasant; the tongue is not in direct contact with a large mass of metal, making them the lingual braces type with the least pain. To create these custom-made braces, the orthodontist performs a digital scan that will allow for a perfect fit

Self-ligating lingual braces

This particular type of lingual braces doesn’t require an elastic band to attach each piece to the metal arch, they come already laced through. These allow a much faster and less painful treatment, due to the pressure exerted on the wire that gradually moves the teeth.

Classic lingual orthodontics

Classic lingual orthodontics are just as efficient but are not as comfortable for the patient. Since these are thicker than gold braces, patients tend to require more time to adapt to eating and speaking properly.

How do you install lingual braces?

Lingual braces aren’t very common vs traditional braces which are extremely popular. The specialist will have to work in a small space that is difficult to access, which is why only a few specialised doctors work with this type of orthodontics.

There are two options when it comes to putting the braces on; they can put on the braces inside the teeth starting with only one part of the mouth, so that the patient can get used to them before completing the entire mouth, or they can put them on the upper and lower part at the same time.

Lingual braces being applied to a patient with LED light

Step 1: Scanning and manufacturing of custom lingual brackets

This phase is performed for gold lingual braces that are custom-made for each patient.

  1. 3D scan to obtain the exact measurements of the patient's teeth
  2. Production of the appliance from the results

Step 2: Installing the lingual braces

The orthodontic device is fitted in a second phase. For this, the orthodontist follows the following steps:

  1. Clean and dry the inner surface of the teeth.
  2. Apply adhesive to the teeth and braces.
  3. Place all the braces behind the teeth at the same time and holds the pressure for a few seconds so that the braces are properly attached.
  4. Place the metal archwire between the brackets and tighten it.

How much do lingual braces cost in the UK?

Lingual braces are the most expensive on the market. The techniques used to provide completely invisible and effective treatment make the price of lingual braces higher than other orthodontic systems.

Depending on the complexity of the case to be treated and the orthodontist chosen, the total price of lingual braces is between £3,000 and £10,000.

Patient and specialist discussing lingual braces price

Advantages and disadvantages of lingual orthodontics

When deciding whether to use lingual braces or any other type of orthodontics, it is important to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each. In order to help you make a more informed decision, we’ve listed some of the pros and cons of lingual braces.

What are the benefits of lingual braces?

Lingual brackets are generally used in invisible orthodontics for patients who prefer to focus on their physical appearance during treatment. So to that end, these are the benefits of lingual braces:

Totally invisible

Lingual braces are imperceptible, unless you look behind the teeth.

Teeth whitening compatible

Possibility of whitening your teeth at the same time as wearing orthodontics.

Recommended for athletes

There is no risk of injury in the event of a blog to the mouth.

Fast and effective

Same as traditional braces, lingual orthodontic is an effective system to correct your teeth. Lingual braces are also a fast method to improve your smile.

What are the disadvantages of lingual braces?

While we have many benefits, we also have the problems with lingual braces that should to be taken into account:

A period of adaptation is necessary

As thin and small as they are, lingual braces can make it difficult to pronounce certain words. In addition, they will be in permanent contact with the tongue, which can be uncomfortable during the first few weeks.

Difficulty eating

An unpleasant sensation that you will have to get used to during the first few weeks.

They are fragile

Certain foods should be avoided, especially those that tend to stick, such as sweets, chewing gum or hard foods. Avoid biting directly into certain foods so that the appliance does not come off or break; it is better to eat small, pre-cut snacks.

Weekly follow-up with the orthodontist

Very frequent follow-ups are necessary to adjust the appliance.

Complicated dental hygiene

Braces make brushing and flossing difficult, leading to plaque formation around the brackets.

Higher price

Lingual braces are among the most expensive orthodontic treatments on the market.

Lingual braces vs Impress clear aligners

If you are thinking of starting orthodontic treatment, either for health or aesthetic reasons, you should know that, apart from hidden braces behind the teeth, there are other alternatives to align your smile discreetly. Among these, we have the clear aligners from Impress. Impress clear aligners have a number of advantages over lingual and traditional orthodontics:

More comfortable

Invisible aligners are undoubtedly the most practical and comfortable. In addition, it’s very easy to get used to them.

More resistant

Thanks to the fact that Impress aligners are removable, the patient has no limitations when it comes to eating and can consume any type of food without the risk of the appliance falling off or breaking. On the other hand, one of the problems with lingual braces is that they are more delicate and we run the risk of them coming loose or breaking.

Patient receiving Impress invisible aligners

More convenient

Lingual braces can hurt or cause chafing or sores when in contact with the tongue. Whereas transparent aligners have a smooth surface that prevents all the chafing and discomfort that is typical of lingual orthodontics.

More hygienic

It's easy to maintain good dental hygiene with invisible aligners. Because they can be removed during brushing, patients can brush and floss as usual to fight plaque more effectively. This also means that the aligners help to improve general oral health.

Follow-ups done your way

Lingual braces require close follow-up with the orthodontist for adjustments. This is not the case with invisible aligners. Since all sets of aligners are delivered to you at the beginning of treatment, you can change the appliance yourself after receiving your orthodontist's approval in your digital follow-up. Impress also offers you the possibility to follow up in the clinic if you prefer.

Better price

While lingual braces are the most expensive on the market, Impress invisible aligners are among the most economical options. ‚Äč‚ÄčImpress offers two types of all-inclusive treatments with closed prices, depending on the complexity of the case.

In the first appointment we’ll carry out the necessary tests, such as a 3D scanner and x-rays of the oral cavity. If you want to smile with confidence and have a healthy mouth, you can contact us by email at uk@smile2impress.com, phone/WhatsApp at +44 20 3808 1072 or, book an appointment through our website.

Discover more about your personalised treatment plan at your initial consultation with Impress. Find the Impress clinic nearest to you!

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Frequently asked questions about lingual braces

Which is better, lingual braces vs traditional braces?

Lingual braces are just as effective as conventional braces - however, they are placed inside the teeth for a completely invisible treatment.

Do lingual braces hurt?

All orthodontic apparatuses exert pressure on the teeth to change their position. This pressure can cause pain, but the patient quickly gets used to it. As for the braces themselves, when in direct contact with the tongue, they can cause pain and irritation, which is treated by applying dental wax.

What is the treatment time with lingual braces?

As with any orthodontic treatment, it will depend on the complexity of the case. With lingual braces, treatment time usually lasts between 18 and 24 months, depending on the individual patient. You will know your approximate treatment time after consulting with your orthodontist and after initial examinations.

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