As a medical professional, Steve’s comments on Incognito are based on being used to assessing treatment. They also reflect a key reason for choosing lingual braces at any age, perhaps more so as an adult.
A subjective topic which is hard to pin down but survey data from teenagers gives a figure of about 30%, for those who are really concerned about being seen wearing braces.
Being able to cope better as an adult seems logical, yet similar surveys produce a figure of 55%. Life has brought more practical situations to deal with and less peer group expectation of braces.
Short & Long Term Acceptance
A study published in the European Journal of Orthodontics on adults undergoing orthodontic treatment was clear. After completion, improved self-esteem and changes in their social behaviour were evident.
This is good to see, although there is less medical research on psychological outcome for adults during treatment.
A US study showed that subjects wearing braces viewed themselves as more attractive when not wearing an orthodontic appliance, followed by lingual braces, then clear braces, with fixed metal braces least favoured.
Orthodontists across the globe, including the UK have seen a substantial increase in adults seeking care since technology improved. Adults now feel more comfortable about braces, as opposed to opting out.
In a sense, this is the clearest evidence on short term acceptance. If a high percentage were avoiding treatment before lingual and other aesthetic choices became available, there was a problem.
Perceived Or Real
When asked if the way others look matters to them, most people tend to say this is unimportant. A natural, human statement but in many cases, not entirely accurate.
Judgement by appearance, especially initial impressions is well proven. People’s concerns about this have a genuine base and how they look could affect relationships, job opportunities, income, business success.
Rightly, or wrongly, this can reduce confidence, which could again impinge on performance and ultimately on psychological wellbeing.
We are not stating this is how things should be and are happy to fit whatever braces you choose. Individuals feelings, or lives are different, an orthodontist should appreciate their patient’s position.
Your psychological health and success in life are however aspects of treatment which are not to be underestimated. Being comfortable in your braces also ensures treatment is completed and you feel good throughout.
We appreciate why lingual braces help and that your reasons for choosing them are well founded. There is rarely a medical downside and we agree, there is a difference in perception worthy of consideration.