Although this post is an attempt to discuss the bonded retainer, we’ll also look at retainers generally. The bonded retainer is not the only type of retainer. In fact, bonded retainers are a sub-sect of a general type of retainer- permanent retainer.
Overview of Bonded Retainer and Other Dental Retainer Type
As earlier stated, there are two basic types of retainers: removable and permanent retainers. Your orthodontist can help you choose the best type of retainer depending on what you needed braces for and the peculiar conditions you might have.
Chances are that you may be given only one type. In rare cases, you may receive a removable or temporary retainer for your top teeth and a permanent retainer for your bottom teeth.
Permanent retainers are fastened on the lower teeth because the lower teeth typically have small and fragile roots or foundations.
You already know that retainers keep your teeth from moving after they’ve been straightened with braces. It takes at least six months for the new position of your teeth to become permanent after braces.
During the waiting period, your teeth characteristically tries to shift back to their original position. The process of the teeth shifting back to its original position is called relapse.
To prevent relapse, you must use retainers as instructed by your orthodontist. Where retainers are not used appropriately according to the doctor’s instruction, relapsing will occur.
Below are the different kinds of permanent and removable retainers, their prices and strongpoints.
Other considerations for dental retainer costs
The two biggest factors in cost determination are your location and the dental work you need.
Different Orthodontists set their own prices for treatments. Also, the cost of your retainer may be added to the overall cost of your dental work and your braces.
Also ask your orthodontist about the cost of replacements or repair if something happens to your retainer.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Removable Retainers
The advantages of removable retainers are:
#1. Removable retainers are can be easily removed when you want to eat and to brush or floss your teeth.
#2. They’re relatively easy and convenient to acquire or purchase.
The disadvantages are:
#1. Removable retainers can be misplaced or lost when not in your mouth. This is especially if they’re not kept in a case or container.
#2. Removable retainers can be easily damaged if left lying around.
#3. They can cause excess saliva production.
#4. Bacteria can grow and live on them.
The biggest challenge with removable retainers is that people who use them are likely to have relapse. This is typical because users may lose the retainer and not replace it or don’t wear their retainer as often as instructed. When you don’t wear it, it can’t work like it’s supposed to, and your teeth will try to shift back to their original position.
Both types of removable retainers should be removed and cleaned with gentle brushing daily. Your orthodontist may also recommend soaking it. Learn more about cleaning retainers.
READ ALSO: How to Clean Your retainers Appropriately
Types of Removable Retainers
There are two kinds of removable retainers:.. They are – Hawley and clear plastic retainers.
#1. Hawley retainers
Also called wire retainers, these are removable retainers made of thin metal wire and plastic or acrylic shaped to fit the roof of your mouth or along the inside of your lower teeth. The attached metal wire runs across the outside of your teeth to maintain alignment.
The advantages of the Hawley retainer include:
#1. The retainer can be adjusted if you need a better fit when you first get it or if your teeth need slight realignment later.
#2. Hawley retainer is slightly more durable than a clear plastic retainer.
#3. It may be repairable if broken.
#4. It can last for years if used and cared for properly.
#5. The upper and lower teeth touch naturally with this type of retainer.
The disadvantages of Hawley retainer include:
#1. It affects your speech more than other retainers.
#2. It’s more noticeable than the other types of retainers.
#3. The wire may irritate your lip or cheeks initially.
Average cost of Hawley retainer varies from about $150 to $340.
READ ALSO: Hawley Retainer Review
#2. Clear plastic retainers
These are removable retainers that are molded to perfectly fit the new position of your teeth. They’re also called molded retainers. (The technical name for them is thermoplastic or vacuum-formed retainers.)
To make this type of retainer, a mold of the teeth is created. A very thin plastic or polyurethane is then heated and sucked down around the mold.
A clear plastic retainer has the following advantages:
#1. It is virtually invisible, so you’re more likely to wear it. That means relapse is less likely.
#2. Clear plastic retainer is less bulky and is more comfortable than a Hawley retainer.
#3. It is less likely to affect your speech than a Hawley retainer.
Disadvantages of a clear plastic retainer:
#1. Clear plastic retainer can’t be adjusted if you need realignment. It would need to be replaced.
#2. If it cracks or breaks, it can’t be repaired.
#3. It may affect your speech more than permanent retainers.
#4. It can warp if exposed to heat.
#5. Clear plastic retainer tends to become discolored (and more visible) over time.
#6. Top and bottom teeth don’t touch naturally with this type of retainer.
#7. It can trap liquids against your teeth, which can cause cavities.
Common Types or Brands of Clear Plastic Retainers
The common brands of clear plastic retainer are vivera, essix and zenduara.
The major difference in the 3 common brands of clear retainers is the type of plastic material they are produced from.
Vivera retainer is oftentimes erroneously called Invisalign. Vivera and invisalign are made by the same company. However, invisalign is an aligner not a retainer or a metal brace. Invisaligne is used to straighten teeth.
Clear plastic retainers have become more and more popular and are used more often than Hawley retainers.
Average cost of clear plastic retainers varies from about $100 to $285 for one tray (upper or lower).
READ ALSO: How long do you have to wear a retainer?
Bonded retainer: Merits and Demerits
Permanent retainers, also called bonded retainer are made up of a strong or interwoven wire that is curved to fit the shape of your newly straightened teeth. The wire is bonded to the inside of your front teeth to keep them from moving.
Bonded retainer is most often used on lower teeth. Other synonyms are permanent, fixed, wired or lingual retainers. They can’t be removed except by your orthodontist or dentist.
They’re often used when an orthodontist thinks the teeth are very likely to relapse or the person (such as a young child) won’t follow the instructions for using a removable retainer. Although some are removed at some point, usually because of excess buildup of plaque and tarter or gum irritation, most are left in place indefinitely.
advantages of Permanent or Bonded Retainer
A permanent or bonded retainer has these advantages:
#1. Complying with instructions for when and how long to wear it isn’t a problem.
#2. Permanent or bonded retainer is not visible to others.
#3. Bonded retainer is not likely to affect your speech.
#4. Bonded retainer can’t be misplaced or lost.
#5. Permanent or bonded retainer can’t be damaged easily.
Disadvantages of Permanent or Bonded Retainer
#1. Bonded retainer may be hard to maintain oral hygiene, especially flossing, because you can’t remove it. This can cause tartar and plaque to build up, possibly leading to gum disease.
#2. Bonded retainer is attached, which you may not like.
#3. The metal wire might irritate your tongue.
Like your teeth, permanent retainers should be cleaned daily. Using a threader can make it easier to get dental floss underneath the wire to remove food, plaque, and tartar. Find out how to clean your retainer.
Average cost of permanent or bonded retainer varies from about $225 to 550.
Why a retainer?
Even after your teeth are permanently in their new position, the effects of chewing, growth, and everyday wear can lead to relapse. So your orthodontist may recommend that you use a retainer for the rest of your life.
If your retainer is removable, it’s very important to wear it exactly as your orthodontist says, or you might lose some or all the benefits of your braces.
Research reveals that the most common instructions are to use a retainer all day, seven days a week for one year after braces are removed. Then it is usually recommended the retainer be worn at night indefinitely. Instructions vary, so it’s important to talk to your orthodontist about this.
Once you start using your retainer, your orthodontist will want to check your teeth to be sure your retainer is keeping them from moving. They may adjust or fix the retainer or make a new one if needed. Usually, you’ll have checkups 1, 3, 6, 11, and 24 months after your braces are removed.
You should see your orthodontist as soon as possible if you lose your retainer or it cracks or breaks. That way it can be replaced before your teeth relapse.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each retainer type. Your orthodontist will recommend the best type for you based on your teeth and why you needed braces.
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