After you spend all of that time and money straightening your teeth with orthodontics to achieve your dream smile, you’ll want to make sure you protect your investment by maintaining your teeth with the right retainer.
Dr. Georgaklis offers three different types of retainers—clear plastic removable retainers called Essix (also known as Invisalign), Hawley traditional removable retainers, and lingual wire, fixed, or bonded permanent retainers. All three of these types of retainers have different benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose a retainer carefully based on your particular lifestyle, orthodontic goals, and concerns.
Clear plastic retainers, or Essix retainers, are generally the most affordable retainer option and are made out of plastic or polyurethane. The pros of this retainer option are that they are clear and less noticeable than other retainers, thin and more comfortable than other retainers, and they are easily removed for eating and oral hygiene. The cons of this type of retainer are that they may break more easily than other retainers, they usually only last for a yer and need to be replaced more often,
Hawley traditional retainers are probably what you imagine when you think of the word “retainer.” They are generally a little more expensive than clear plastic retainers and they are made acrylic and with a metal wire in the front area. These retainers can last for many years, they don’t stain as easily as clear retainers, and they are often adjustable. The disadvantages of this type of retainer are that the wire is visible.
Lingual wire, fixed, or bonded permanent retainers are usually the most expensive option and are made of metal wire. These retainers are designed to last for many years and they are not visible as they are placed behind your teeth. They are incredibly durable and do not inhibit speech or cause excess saliva production. Because these retainers are secured to your teeth, they’re impossible to lose. The disadvantages of this type of retainer are that they can make it difficult to maintain oral hygiene, especially flossing. This can cause plaque and tartar to build up. The advantage is that you do not have to think about compliance with permanent retainers.
Dr. Georgaklis and his staff are happy to guide you through the decision-making process so that you have the retainer that best fits your needs and goals.