Lingual braces are made of similar materials as traditional metal braces and self-ligating braces, but differ in that they are placed on the inside of the teeth to completely hide their presence. In this sense, they are truly invisible braces because someone standing right in front of you would not be able to tell you are wearing braces unless you tilt your head back and they see the lingual (tongue) side of your teeth. One popular brand of lingual braces is called Ibraces by 3M Unitek.
Many of these lingual braces are self-ligating to ease in the placement of the wires, and are placed all at once using pre-fabricated trays rather than individually by hand like most other orthodontic braces.
Very few orthodontists offer this type of bracket system because there is additional training necessary to treat in this manner. Furthermore, the increased expense of performing lingual braces treatment prevents most orthodontists from pursuing it. Typically, lingual braces cost more than traditional metal braces. Despite the higher cost, lingual braces are becoming increasingly popular for minor corrections limited to the front teeth.
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Dr. Charchut is a Board Certified Orthodontist practicing in both Lansing and St. Johns, Michigan. Read more about Dr. Charchut.