What are dental retainers for?
As your trusted Charlottesville orthodontists, Dr. Weis, Dr. Patel and their team at Charlottesville Orthodontics are proud to offer a number of high-quality orthodontic treatments, including a wide variety of braces and Invisalign®, in order to perfect your smile. There’s one final stage after the braces or Invisalign are worn – the retainer phase. This phase is used to ensure that your teeth don’t shift back into misalignment. Because this stage will last a minimum of 24 months, we’re glad to offer several different types of retainers so that we have an option to best suit both your convenience and comfort.
Types of retainers
Hawley (removable) retainers
The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. This removable retainer is made up of sturdy acrylic and metal wires that are designed to keep your teeth from shifting. This retainer is made from impressions of your teeth to guarantee that it fits comfortably in the roof of your mouth while the wire and acrylic will keep your teeth in their optimal position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a variety of colors and patterns.
Essix (clear) retainers
The Essix retainer is actually very similar in appearance to Invisalign. Like Invisalign, the Essix retainer is a removable and transparent retainer that fits over an entire arch of teeth. These retainers are inexpensive, have no wires, and are easier to wear than traditional retainers. These retainers can be used for other treatments as well, including bridges and tooth movement.
Fixed (bonded) retainers
These fixed lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines. Because this retainer is permanently attached, it’s one of the best ways to make sure that your lower teeth don’t shift. However, when you’re wearing this retainer, you must be careful when you bite since incorrect biting may cause the bonding material to break and your teeth to quickly shift. If it happens to break, call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.