Are you unhappy about the available options in braces? Well, it isn’t the end of the world. Gone are the days when people were being treated only by metallic braces. Today, with the advances in dentistry, dental materials, and changing patient needs, less conspicuous orthodontic treatment options have become easily available. Be it clear ceramic braces, lingual braces or clear aligners, all of them ensure you get straighter teeth in the least conspicuous way possible. While ceramic braces can be seen when meeting a person up close, lingual braces and clear aligners are invisible. Yes, you read that right!
Let’s understand what lingual braces and clear aligners are before determining which of them are the best for you.
What are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces are metallic braces that are placed on the back of your teeth, contrary to traditional metallic braces that are placed on the front-side of your teeth. Due to them being placed on the back of your teeth, they cannot be easily noticed and this makes them virtually invisible. Since the brackets are placed towards your tongue, these braces are called lingual braces. As they are hidden away from the view, they are also called as hidden or incognito braces.
Compared to metallic braces, the brackets for lingual braces are slightly smaller and more rounded, to make it comfortable for the tongue and other soft tissues. While most cases can be treated using lingual braces, some complex crowding cases are contraindicated. To perform lingual braces treatment, the doctor needs to undergo special training.
What are Clear Aligners?
Contrary to lingual braces, clear aligners are a set of transparent trays that are custom-made for each patient to be worn on the upper and lower teeth for a specified amount of time. The trays are made up of good quality plastic material and are transparent. Therefore, when they are worn over the teeth, they are completely invisible. However, they apply similar forces on the teeth to move them into alignment.
Which one is better for you?
With both options being less conspicuous than traditional metallic and ceramic braces, “Which one is better for me?” is a very valid concern for many patients. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these treatment options!
- Comfort Vs Discomfort
One of the main drawbacks of lingual braces is that they are uncomfortable to the wearer. If you thought brackets on the front of your teeth were a tad bit uncomfortable, imagine getting them on the back of your teeth, where your tongue is constantly at play. Most patients who undergo lingual braces treatment frequently complain of ulcers on the tongue, constant discomfort and pain.
In comparison, clear aligners are the most comfortable orthodontic treatment options. The aligner trays are smooth and comfortable for your gums, lips, teeth, and tongue. Patients do not have any trouble while wearing them and there is no discomfort as seen with lingual braces.
- Speech impairment
Can you imagine speaking with something big stuck on the back of your teeth? Well, this is what happens when lingual braces are placed. Since the brackets are placed on the back of your teeth, the tongue finds less space while resting, swallowing, talking, etc., making it difficult to talk. Many patients undergoing lingual braces treatment suffer from speech impairment, which is further worsened by ulcers on the tongue.
However, this is not observed in the case of clear aligners. The aligner trays are fabricated in a way that they do not interfere with the tongue or its movements and so no speech impairment is observed.
- Diet Restriction
Even though lingual braces are less noticeable, they are still fixed orthodontic treatment just like metallic and ceramic braces. Due to them being fixed, patients have diet restrictions wherein hard, sticky foods need to be avoided. Also, with ulcers and discomfort, it becomes even more difficult to eat even regular foodstuffs.
Clear aligners, on the other hand, are removable appliances that can be removed by the patient. Due to their removable nature, there is no diet restriction when undergoing clear aligner treatment.
- Oral Hygiene Maintenance
Having something artificial stuck on your teeth tends to attract more food debris and dirt and this is exactly what happens with braces. However, in the case of lingual braces, since the brackets are placed on the inside of the teeth, it gathers more dirt, and it is difficult to see if there is something stuck on them or clean.
Clear aligners are the best for oral maintenance as they can be removed and cleaned while being able to brush and floss your teeth easily. Patients are able to maintain their oral hygiene better when treated using clear aligners.
- Cost Factor
When we compare the cost of Invisible braces in Noida with other types of braces, they are on the higher end. They are costlier than metal and ceramic braces and almost at par with clear aligners.
Clear aligners like Clear Aligners that are top quality aligners made in India are affordable and offer more benefits for the cost as compared to lingual braces.
Picking the right kind of braces is very crucial to your orthodontic treatment. But, you are not alone. Your orthodontist will assist you to make the right choice. However, being well informed about the various options helps you make your decision more easily. Lingual braces are definitely a great choice for those who are looking to get their teeth aligned in the least conspicuous way possible. But, clear aligners may be what you are looking for if both ‘comfort’ and ‘invisible braces’ are your requirements.