Orthodontic Retainers

We offer 3 main types of orthodontic retainers

  1. Traditional Hawley retainers. 
    a) Advantages: long track record, durable if cared for correctly, best to help the teeth settle vertically into a better bite after treatment, labial wire bow adjustable for minor tooth movement, best at holding width if teeth or jaws were expanded
    b) Disadvantages: wire across the front teeth is unaesthetic, rear wire clasps may not be comfortable, some patients find the palatal coverage uncomfortable or it affects speech, must be outsourced to a lab so they take longer to fabricate, most expensive, teeth will move if not worn routinely

  2. Essix or thermoformed retainers
    a) Advantages: clear and very esthetic, may be used as bleaching trays, holds teeth very securely if worn as directed, can protect the teeth from grinding habit, more economical, can be produced in one day, corrections of minor tooth discrepancies can be built into retainer for Invisalign type correction
    b) Disadvantages: not as durable as Hawley retainer, clear plastic may discolor with time, doesn’t allow teeth to erupt further, teeth will move if not worn routinely

  3. Fixed lingual retainer – wire attached with resin to tongue side of incisors
    a) Advantages: no compliance issues – teeth stay straight as long as retainer is permanently attached to teeth, keeps front teeth straight while back teeth are able to settle into an ideal occlusion
    b) Disadvantages: careful oral hygiene required to keep plaque and calculus from building up under wire, if resin bonding comes loose retainer wire may poke out or teeth may move, posterior teeth may shift, not able to use with all tooth shapes if floss doesn’t fit between teeth easily


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