After completing orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, you’ll need to wear a retainer for some time. Retainers are used to keep your teeth in their newly aligned position after you’ve completed treatment. There are a variety of types of retainers, and your orthodontist will let you know which type is best for you. Depending upon whether you need an upper retainer, lower retainer, or both, the cost may range from a few hundred dollars to more than $1000.
Types of Retainers Available in CT
There are several different types of retainers. Some are permanent and some are removable. Your orthodontist will advise you on which type of retainer you’ll need to wear, to ensure that your newly straightened teeth stay in their new positions.
Hawley retainers are removable retainers that are made of plastic or acrylic and have a metal wire affixed to them. These retainers perfectly fit the roof of your mouth, or behind your teeth on your bottom arch. The plastic or acrylic is often available in a variety of colors. Benefits of Hawley retainers include:
- Adjustable if necessary
- Potentially repairable if broken
- Allows for the full closing of your mouth so that the upper teeth and bottom teeth touch
However, these retainers are prone to altering speech more than other types of retainers. They are also more noticeable than permanent retainers, or invisible retainers. But, Hawley retainers are often the most affordable type of retainer. Since they can last a very long time with proper care, this often makes them the most cost-effective type of retainer.
Clear Plastic Retainers
Clear plastic retainers are also removable retainers. They are a popular choice for patients who want a discreet retainer. They fit precisely over your teeth to keep them from shifting back into pre-treatment positions. Clear plastic retainers are available from a variety of manufacturers, and all vary slightly, often in terms of the type of plastic that is used. Benefits of clear plastic retainers include:
- Nearly invisible appearance
- Less bulky than Hawley retainers
- May not affect speech as much as a Hawley retainer.
However, there are some downsides to clear plastic retainers. They cannot be adjusted. If you need to adjust alignment, you’ll have to replace the retainer. These retainers may also become warped if exposed to high temperatures. Clear plastic retainers also prevent you from fully closing your mouth, so your top and bottom teeth do not touch. Without excellent care, these retainers may also be prone to discoloration. Clear plastic retainers typically cost several hundred dollars for each arch.
Fixed Permanent Retainers
Permanent retainers are bonded to the inside or your teeth. These are more common on the bottom arch of teeth than the top teeth. Permanent retainers offer benefits such as:
- Attached to the teeth, so they can’t be lost
- Durable and unlikely to be damaged
- Unlikely to affect speech
The potential downsides of fixed or permanent retainers include an inability to fully clean the surface of the insides of the teeth. This can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar. Permanent retainers also make it difficult to floss properly. The cost of a permanent retainer ranges from a few hundred dollars up to several hundred dollars.
Orthodontic Treatment and After Care in Newington, CT
Greater Hartford Orthodontics provides complete orthodontic treatment for children, teens, and adults in Newington, Connecticut. Alignment options available include braces, Invisalign, clear braces, lingual (behind the teeth) braces, and self-ligating braces. Permanent and removable retainers are available to maintain your results. Contact us today to schedule an orthodontic consultation by calling 860-667-8277. You are also welcome to request an appointment online.