If you have thought about getting braces, you might want to know about all the options. One type is lingual braces, otherwise known as braces behind teeth. But how do braces behind teeth work? What are the pros and cons of braces behind your teeth? And maybe most importantly, how much do braces behind teeth cost?
Additionally, you might have done research with phrases such as braces behind teeth, braces on back of teeth, behind the teeth braces, braces on the back of your teeth, and the like.
However, before we continue, let’s hear what the experts of orthodontic medicine have to say on the topic of teeth with braces.
As the number of adults that seek orthodontic treatment continues to grow, so too is the popularity of lingual fixed appliances (Auluck A, 2013).
Although the aesthetic advantages associated with these systems are many, for some orthodontists, there has been a reluctance to offer lingual-based treatment to their patients (Auluck A, 2013).
This reluctance is often based upon the perceived problems associated with braces behind the teeth relating to discomfort and difficulties with speech for the patient and problems in using these appliances for the orthodontist (Auluck A, 2013).
What are Braces Behind Teeth?
Braces behind the teeth, also known as lingual braces, are another type of braces that patients can have affixed to the back of their teeth. The term lingual refers to the tongue, so the lingual side of the teeth is the side of the teeth that faces the tongue.
Lingual braces or braces behind the teeth are very similar to regular braces in the way that they use metal wires and brackets. The orthodontist will affix the braces to the back of the teeth which overtime gradually shift the teeth into the correct alignment.
Speak to your orthodontist if this is something that you’re interested in getting as it is more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional metal braces.
How Do Braces Behind Teeth Work?
The treatment process for lingual braces is similar to that for traditional metal braces. Regardless of what type of braces a patient is getting, the orthodontist has to first make an impression of the teeth that need to be realigned. These impressions are then used to make brackets that are customized for the patient’s mouth.
Lingual braces can be customized to a much larger extent than regular braces and in fact, an orthodontist can customize lingual braces to each tooth, depending on the patient’s preferences.
As mentioned above, lingual braces use metal wires and brackets and an orthodontist uses cement to affix the braces to the back of the teeth. As the treatment time progresses, the teeth are gradually moved back into proper alignment by these braces.
For a more in-depth explanation of how lingual braces work, you can speak to your orthodontist who may have some 3-D models of teeth and braces and may be able to offer you a deeper explanation.
One of the big differences between lingual braces and traditional metal braces is the placement and visibility. Lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth, and as such are essentially invisible which makes them more advantageous in that regard for patients who may be concerned about their appearance with traditional metal braces.
Can You Get Braces Behind Your Teeth?
Absolutely! It is possible to get braces behind the teeth. However, before deciding on whether getting braces behind your teeth is better for you than the traditional metal braces or the other types of braces that are not placed behind the teeth, it is necessary that you visit an orthodontist who can thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, and gums and other general dental necessities to determine what type of treatment is best for you.
Your orthodontist after examining your mouth can make recommendations and you can collaboratively decide on the best course of treatment for you. Getting braces behind your teeth might be the best option for you, but this decision should be made in collaboration with your orthodontist.
There are other advantages and disadvantages of lingual braces and so before deciding if lingual braces might be ideal for you, it is important to consider the pros and cons.
How Much Do Braces Behind Teeth Cost?
Braces behind the teeth or lingual braces tend to be more expensive than traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, or even Invisalign treatment. There are many factors that can influence the cost of your lingual braces including the location you get your treatment at, how well you care for your braces behind your teeth, whether your treatment is covered by insurance or not, and possibly other factors which you can discuss with your orthodontist.
When looking at lingual braces, it is possible to find prices as high as about $10,000 when compared to traditional metal braces which can range from $3,000-$5,000 or Invisalign, which is similar at about $4,000 to $8,000.
It is necessary that you maintain good oral hygiene at all times, including when you have braces behind your teeth. Speak to your orthodontist about tips that can help you keep your teeth, your gums, and your behind teeth braces in good condition during the treatment and beyond to ensure that you don’t incur any unnecessary additional costs.
Pros and Cons of Braces Behind the Teeth
Lingual braces can have significant advantages and disadvantages over other types of braces. Some of the advantages include the fact that lingual braces are invisible because of their placement. They’re hidden and therefore you can have lingual braces without others knowing that you are undergoing treatment. However, as the treatment progresses, the results will be visible in your radiant smile.
Another advantage of lingual braces is that they are very precise. This is because although other braces can be custom-made to a patient’s mouth, lingual braces can be customized even further down to the tooth. Because of this high level of customization, lingual braces are ideal when it comes to correcting really poorly aligned teeth.
Additionally, lingual braces can also be used for very complex orthodontic cases which can include altering the height of different teeth, closing gaps, and altering the rotation angles of teeth.
Another advantage is that braces behind teeth protect from decalcification. This is a common occurrence with patients who have other types of braces. This means that the enamel of the teeth loses calcium and can result in chalky white spots on the teeth. If untreated, the de-calcified areas of the teeth can make the teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay.
The braces themselves are not the cause of the decalcification but because oral hygiene can be challenging with braces, this can lead to decalcification. Research shows that those treated with lingual braces experience a much lower incidence of decalcification.
The disadvantages of lingual braces are as follows:
Firstly, braces behind the teeth can take longer to apply. This is because the orthodontist has to use the relatively small space behind the teeth to affix the braces which makes the application more finicky. This means that that first visit to the orthodontist to apply the braces can be very lengthy.
Secondly, having braces behind the teeth can lead to discomfort. It is true that most people who have teeth with braces of any kind will experience some type of discomfort, especially in the initial stages of the treatment process. Additionally, as the braces begin to correct the position of the teeth, some pressure might be felt throughout the treatment, although this should be more gentle.
Some patients might experience this pressure as a dull ache. Others may experience discomfort from the brackets and wires and other materials that make up the braces. Those with lingual braces may especially experience more discomfort on the tongue. If you are experiencing significant discomfort with your braces, ensure you speak to your orthodontist near me.
Additionally, those with lingual braces might find that their speech is altered for a time. Those with braces behind their teeth might experience more significant speech changes because of the proximity of the braces to the tongue. The tongue is responsible for sounds and word formation, and so lingual braces can interfere with the movement of the tongue which can interfere with a person’s speech pattern
Fortunately, in general, these changes tend to reduce as the treatment progresses and the patient gets used to the braces.
If you are interested in lingual braces or braces behind your teeth, and you don’t already have an orthodontist, we’d be happy to meet with you. Just click here and book a free initial consultation.
Auluck A. (2013). Lingual orthodontic treatment: what is the current evidence base?. Journal of orthodontics, 40 Suppl 1, S27–S33. https://doi.org/10.1179/1465313313Y.0000000073