What are Nano Braces and Are They Right for You?

Nano braces, also referred to as "incognito braces," are essentially lingual braces worn behind your teeth. Applied permanently to the back surfaces using dental cement, these braces work to straighten teeth in the same way as traditional metal braces. The major difference between lingual braces and regular braces, however, is that they are invisible to others, which makes them a popular choice for adult patients.

How They Work

So how is it possible for lingual braces to achieve the same results? As explained by New York City orthodontist, Dr. Marvin Lagstein, the wires are robotically configured to match each individual patient's impressions, and uses nickel titanium wire to hold its shape. Once the braces are fitted in your mouth, your natural body temperature activates the wires so they can move your teeth into their correct permanent position.

Length of Treatment

The length of time it takes for nano braces to achieve results is one of the major benefits of this form of treatment. Typically, according to Dr. Greg Jorgensen, standard treatment with braces takes around 22 months. With lingual braces, however, adult treatment time may be reduced to less than one year, and require fewer dental visits to regularly adjust the wires.

Who Can Use Nano Braces?

As with any other form of orthodontic treatment, lingual braces aren't suitable for everyone. Teens and adults with normal-sized teeth are the best candidates, provided they don't have a deep, vertical overbite that makes it difficult to fit the braces, according to Park Cities Orthodontics. Children aren't usually good candidates because smaller primary teeth don't accommodate the braces as well as permanent teeth.

Estimated Cost of Treatment

The cost of orthodontic treatment always depends on your individual situation, but manufacturers at 3M suggest nano braces are generally more expensive than traditional braces. Practitioners compare the average cost of treatment with that of invisible retainers such as Invisalign, which comes in at between $3,800 and $8,000. Most insurance plans cover a portion of the cost, up to around $3,500 for products like Invisalign, and with a flexible savings plan you can set aside $2,500 of your pre-tax dollars for orthodontic treatment.

Benefits and Disadvantages

Lingual braces have several benefits and a few disadvantages. The benefits include:

  • Appearance: Because they are fitted behind your teeth, they are practically invisible to others.
  • Convenience: The braces are not removed, as is necessary with most invisible aligners when eating or brushing the teeth.
  • Comfort: The braces are 100-percent custom-fitted to each patient, providing a higher level of comfort.
  • Treatment time: This is typically brief because of the customized fit and the fact that the item can't be removed. They work 24/7 to realign your teeth.

Keep in mind, however, that these incognito solutions bring higher costs, restrictions from use in children and ineffeciveness against extreme malocclusions. As with all types of braces, lingual braces can cause minor mouth irritations, which can be treated using products such as Colgate® Peroxyl® mouth sore rinse. Rinses like these have an alcohol-free formula that cleanses and soothes irritations to promote healing.

If your teeth require minimal straightening and you're reluctant to wear the traditional "train tracks" as a working adult, nano braces might be the ideal option for you.

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