If you’ve been considering teeth straightening options then you may have narrowed down your choice to Invisalign and Lingual braces. Both promote invisible teeth straightening and both have good reviews. What you really want to know, however, is whether one is better than the other.
Well, in short, the answer is no. Both treatments are different which makes it hard to single out a winner. The right choice is to pick the teeth straightening method that best fits your individual circumstances.
Our experienced dentists at Smile Gallery will be able to advise you on the best brace for you – depending on your dental needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. If it transpires that both are equally suitable, then it’s your call! Although, to help you make that decision, we’ve compiled a short comparison of both brace types. So let’s dive in a take a closer look.
When it comes to discreet adult teeth straightening options then both Invisalign and Lingual braces fit the bill. Lingual braces top the charts for discreetness because the braces are worn behind the teeth, so looking at you head on, there are no signs of bracket or wires.
While Invisalign isn’t completely invisible it’s certainly very discreet. This particular method of teeth straightening does away with brackets and wires altogether and instead, the patient wears a clear plastic aligner over their teeth. From a distance, the aligner can’t be seen, but it may be more apparent, close up.
Teeth straightening options – How each brace works
Invisalign uses a series of ‘pre-programmed aligners’ to gradually shift your teeth into their correct position. An exciting part of Invisalign treatment is that patients get to see how their finished smile will look on a computer screen! This can give them the motivation needed for orthodontic treatment. The first set of aligners is worn for around 2 weeks before swapping these for the next set in the series. By the time you’re on the last set of aligners, you’ll be close to your goal of straight teeth. However, on occasions, your treatment may not pan out quite as planned and it may be necessary to wear a few more aligners in order to get the best results. This involves taking new impressions and a longer length of treatment.
So what can Invisalign treat?
Mild to moderate dental problems such as overbites and underbites as well as misalignment. For patients with more complex cases and badly twisted teeth, your dentist is likely to recommend a bracket and wire method of teeth straightening, whether that’s via lingual braces or ceramic/metal braces worn on the front of your teeth.
Lingual braces also use digital photos and impressions in teeth straightening planning. Similar to Invisalign, treatment may involve removing wisdom teeth or overcrowded teeth prior to treatment. Because the brackets are attached to the lingual or tongue side of your teeth, the movements are slightly more gradual when compared to Invisalign.
This method of treatment, however, gives your dentist complete control over the movement of your teeth and means that both mild and complex cases can be treated with precision. As your treatment nears it end, your dentist will also be able to make any small tweaks necessary to achieve the best possible results.
Oral hygiene during teeth straightening
Patients undergoing Invisalign treatment are instructed to remove their aligners when eating or drinking anything but water, to prevent the clear plastic from staining. It also makes it easier for them to brush and floss their teeth and maintain a good standard of oral hygiene.
On the flip side of this, once patients remove their aligners it can be tempting not to put them back in for some while, and this can impact treatment and even affect the overall result. For this reason, patients need to be committed to wearing their aligners for at least 22 hours a day.
Because lingual braces are fixed, patients don’t have the option of taking them in and out, which means that teeth straightening goes on continuously without them having to think about it. Since brackets and wires are at the back of the teeth, it can be difficult to brush and floss, which means oral hygiene may suffer. We recommend that you use a dental mirror to see what you’re doing together with disclosing tablets to highlight any areas that you may be missing.
Teeth straightening options – How long does treatment take?
Invisalign typically takes between 12 and 24 months to complete depending on the complexity of treatment. That said, Invisalign patients don’t need to visit their dentist to have wires tightened, so visits can be less frequent compared to lingual braces.
Similar to Invisalign, lingual braces are usually worn for between 1 and 2 years before the patient gets the results they were hoping for. Depending on the individual, extreme cases can require another year of treatment. In addition, the patient will need to visit their dentist on a regular basis for necessary adjustments to their wires and to monitor progress.
Now for the nitty-gritty – how much are braces?
Invisalign is a more common treatment than Lingual braces which means that there is more competition amongst dentists and you may be able to take advantage of discounts being offered. The price also depends on the duration of treatment and the number of aligners needed. You’ll have to factor in the cost of a retainer at the end of your treatment. That said, in some cases, Invisalign can cost the same or less than conventional teeth straightening methods.
Lingual orthodontics requires specialist materials and expertise. Since the brackets have to be custom made to fit the exact contours of your teeth in order to ensure comfort and efficiency, this type of brace has the highest price tag of all.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the differences between Invisalign and lingual braces. If you’d like to talk to us more about both teeth straightening options then why not call Smile Gallery Dental on (03) 8595 2632 to schedule an appointment. We’d love to help you achieve your perfect smile.