For people who are coming to the end of their orthodontic treatment, the next thing on their mind is going to be retainers. Your orthodontic office may have mentioned the importance of having retainers but now that it has finally come upon you, it’s time to actually start taking those thoughts seriously and decide what you’re going to do.
There are many different types of retainers, each with their own different pros and cons but figuring out which is the best for you is going to come down to determining what is the proper difference between the monetary cost, the time cost, and the cost of responsibility in monitoring and maintenance. Before we get to that, let’s check in and see what the experts have to say on the topic of getting orthodontic retainers.
Retention after orthodontic treatment is defined as maintaining teeth in the most optimal aesthetic and functional position after the active phase treatment (Kartal Y & Kaya B, 2019). That is a fancy way of telling your teeth don’t move! You just got to your new locations and it’s time to stay there.
The application of a suitable retention method is essential for preventing a relapse after orthodontic treatment and for enhancing patient satisfaction (Kartal Y & Kaya B, 2019). After all, you got braces to correct an issue like crooked teeth or an overbite, and you want your teeth to stay there.
Fixed retainers have a number of pros including better aesthetics, minimal to no need for patient cooperation, effectiveness, and suitability for lifelong retention (Kartal Y & Kaya B, 2019).
How much are retainers
When people talk about how much are retainers, they’re most often talking about the monetary cost and while we will discuss that, it’s also important to remember that there are other costs associated with getting retainers as well. These include the time cost and investment in their maintenance to make sure they keep on working properly. There is also the amount of time that you need to spend at an orthodontic office getting your retainers worked on, the time it will take for the retainer to finish its role in the orthodontic process, and of course the financial cost as well. By discussing all of these, we will have a better idea of which kind of orthodontic retainer will offer the best balance of all these different kinds.
How much does a retainer cost?
Let’s first compare the cost of time when it comes to removable retainers versus permanent retainers. The time cost when it comes to maintenance or having to mind your orthodontics is quite a bit lower when it comes to the permanent retainer as opposed to the removable one. The reason for this is quite simple: a permanent retainer although it may require similar maintenance such as brushing or things like that, can simply be done at the same time when you do your normal teeth brushing.
Your retainer should be cleaned in a very similar method to the way that you have been cleaning your braces or the way that you brush your teeth. A simple soft bristle toothbrush with a little bit of toothpaste and some warm water are all excellent ways of making sure that you can clean it. Being able to clean your retainer and your teeth simultaneously helps reduce the time taken in the maintenance process.
One of the other major benefits of permanent retainers is the fact that it requires less direct responsibility. With removable retainers, it is on you to take out and replace your temporary retainers or your removable retainers so that way they don’t get broken or damaged while eating. With a permanent retainer, it is designed to be sturdy and will stay as long as your orthodontic office needs it to. This means that you do not need to worry about replacing it, putting it in at night, or losing it, and they are far less likely to get damaged than retainers which are laid about or thrown into pockets or bags carelessly. The fact of the matter is that a permanent retainer is a simply less responsibility for an individual to care for.
Permanent retainer cost
However, while it may take less responsibility for a permanent retainer, the cost when it comes to getting any orthodontic maintenance done is a little bit higher than with the removable ones. With removable ones, you can simply have another one sent to you from your office if you lose it or break it. However, it’s important to make sure that your permanent orthodontic retainer is inspected occasionally. You will need to set up appointments at the office from time to time.
So while it may mean less of a day to day responsibility for you and a lower cost timewise in mental effort, it will mean that occasionally you may need to visit an office and if your orthodontics is ever broken or damaged, you will not simply be able to order a new one and put it in as it will have to be installed at the office itself.
Now let’s take a look at the monetary cost of the different types. Traditional retainers will usually run somewhere between $150 to $600 depending on your exact needs. Like most medicine. getting retainers is an individual thing and so your exact needs will differ depending on your preferences, color desires, and of course your orthodontic needs as stated by your orthodontic office. However, if you’re getting something like the Hawley retainer (the classic plastic and metal one), it will cost between $150 to $600 on average.
How much is a retainer?
The next type of orthodontic retainer that is very common is a slightly higher quality brand called the Essix retainer. However, with higher quality, you do also get a higher price tag as well, between $400 and $800 for the retainer. It’s important to remember though that if you’re needing to wear this retainer for many years, getting a higher quality retainer may ultimately end up saving you money instead of having to get several lower quality ones.
Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what will be in your best financial interest. Permanent retainers are the most affordable and come in between $150 and $500. They require less day-to-day care since they are attached and are quite affordable.
Invisalign retainer cost
The Invisalign retainer cost is quite similar to the cost for getting permanent retainers installed, usually between $150 to $500. For people who care about aesthetics and maintaining the integrity and beauty of their smile, the Invisalign system may be a great option as it is nearly totally invisible and so allows you to have your orthodontic care without anyone ever noticing.
Regardless of what you choose, it’s important to make sure that you find out what type of retainer will be best for you, your finances, and of course your emotional well-being.
There are two main types of retainers, namely the removable retainer and permanent retainers. The one you choose should depend on the recommendation of your orthodontist who will help you choose based on what oral conditions you may have and any other relevant factors.
At times, orthodontists may even prescribe a removable retainer for the upper teeth and a permanent one for the bottom teeth. Studies show that the bottom front teeth are the most prone to shifting and if your orthodontist thinks that your teeth may be prone to shifting as well, then this treatment may be recommended.
In general, retainers are necessary to ensure that teeth maintain their post-treatment positions and don’t relapse or shift positions after the active phase of orthodontic treatment is complete.
At times, it may take 4-6 months for your teeth to be stabilized in their new positions, and at times, it could be longer. Whatever your case, your orthodontist will provide guidelines for achieving the optimal benefits.
Some people may prefer removable retainers because they lend themselves well to maintaining good oral hygiene, although they require patient cooperation and may also be lost or broken if they are not well cared for. On the other hand, fixed retainers can’t be lost and don’t require patient cooperation, but are not as good for maintaining oral hygiene.
Kartal, Y., & Kaya, B. (2019). Fixed Orthodontic Retainers: A Review. Turkish journal of orthodontics, 32(2), 110–114. https://doi.org/10.5152/TurkJOrthod.2019.18080