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Cosmetic Orthodontics: Lingual Braces Vs. Clear Aligners


February 17th, 2022

Cosmetic orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of teeth and smile by utilizing treatments such as braces and aligners.

Some patients desire to avoid wearing braces because of aesthetics, therefore cosmetic braces and aligners are designed in a way that makes them less noticeable in terms of appearance and time in treatment.

There are two main types of cosmetic orthodontics

Lingual Braces 

Lingual braces are a clear alternative to metal braces that provide many benefits both aesthetically and functionally. 

They are designed right behind your front teeth over your tongue. They bond to the back side of your front teeth thus preventing them from being seen. The reason why they are often referred to as invisibles is because of their ability to blend in with your teeth. The result is completely invisible braces that cannot be seen when you speak or smile!

These types of braces can take more time to adjust than traditional braces but the result is a set of teeth so straight and painless that it typically makes the treatment worth it.

Clear Aligners

Clear Aligners are removable, clear custom trays that fit over your teeth, and gradually shift them to a desired position. As you change from one aligner to the next, your teeth shift little by little so you can move all of your upper or lower teeth into their ideal positions in a way that’s barely noticeable.

Clear aligners require less time compared to lingual braces because each aligner is worn for two weeks before being replaced with a new set. Treatment normally takes 12-18 months, depending on the severity of your smile problems.

Clear aligners are removable therefore they can be taken out for cleaning and eating. They are less expensive compared to lingual braces because of their design and materials used.

Main Benefits of Clear Aligners and Lingual Braces

Clear Aligners and Lingual braces are both great cosmetic alternatives to metal braces.

Pros of Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are virtually invisible. They are placed behind your teeth so no one can see them, unless you tell them about their presence.

In short, the pros are:

– Invisible braces that blend in with your teeth

– Designed over tongue so it is barely noticeable

– Treatment time is shorter than with conventional braces (depending on the individual’s case)

Cons of Lingual Braces

The biggest drawback with lingual braces is that the treatment time is longer than clear aligners, with patients usually requiring 18 months (or even up to two years) to complete their treatment.

Another drawback of lingual braces is that they are difficult to clean and maintain, which means the patient has to be very committed to maintaining good oral hygiene in order for the treatment to be successful. Lingual braces can also take longer than clear aligners or regular metal braces to adjust if there are issues like crowding or spacing. However, it is important to keep in mind that these types of braces are not meant to be adjusted as frequently as other braces so the adjustments only need to be minor and infrequent.

Some other cons are: 

– Visible brackets around your front teeth

– Your dentist’s skills play a huge role in the result

– May cause problems with speech or produce more saliva than usual

Pros and Cons of Clear Aligners

The main benefit of clear aligners is that they make a patient practically unaware of even having a dental appliance in their mouth, as they can be removed for easy cleaning and eating. In addition to this, it only takes about two weeks to get used to the feeling of clear aligners. Patients may even forget that they are wearing them!

Another benefit of clear aligners is that the treatment time is shorter than traditional braces, with many patients finishing their treatment in just one year.

In summary, the pros are:

– Removable: great for people who want to eat or brush their teeth comfortably

– Clear trays that hardly anyone can see when you smile

– Treatment time is shorter than with conventional braces

– More affordable compared to lingual braces

The downside of these types of orthodontics is that not everyone can wear them, especially those who may lack dexterity. When clear aligners are first put on, they can be somewhat uncomfortable and can slip out of place.

The downsides in a list are:

– They are not as effective compared to metal braces

– You have to wear them almost 24/7 for months or even years

– If you remove them, your teeth will move back to their original position

Talk to your dentist to see which type of orthodontics is best for you

The choice between lingual braces and clear aligners will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

If you want a simple method of straightening teeth, clear aligners may be the best choice for you. If invisibility is more important to you than comfort, lingual braces may be a better option. Ask your orthodontist about the benefits and drawbacks of each type of cosmetic treatment to make a decision that fits with your lifestyle and dental needs.

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