Retainers are defined in dentistry as tooth stabilisers that prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position. Retainers are used after orthodontic treatment as part of the retention process.
Permanent retainer and removable retainer - Here's the difference
A distinction is made between two types of retainers. Depending on the treated misalignment, either a fixed (permanent) or a removable retainer can be used. A permanent retainer is a tight-fitting thin wire made of metal that is attached to the back of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. The permanent retainer is recommended after aligner treatment for a severe misalignment to prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position. A removable retainer, on the other hand, takes the form of a plastic retainer splint. It can be removed from the teeth just as easily as the aligners, but should be worn continuously, especially in the first few months after the treatment.
DrSmile offers both options. You will receive a removable retainer (retainer) free of charge in your DrSmile box. However, if you decide on a permanent retainer (DrSmile retainer), please contact us over the phone. The wire is custom-made after a 3D scan of your teeth and can be fitted at a DrSmile partner practice.
Is a retainer really necessary?
Yes, it is! Because after aligner treatment, your teeth should also be maintained in their final position in the future. This is because the human dentition and the individual tooth have a natural tendency to shift back to their initial position. After 10 years, the probability of the teeth shifting back is about 90%. The use of a retainer - whether it is a retainer or a permanent retainer makes perfect sense and is essential for the successful completion of the treatment.
How is the permanent retainer attached?
A permanent retainer is fixed to both the upper and lower jaw. The thin metal wire is attached to the inside of the teeth with a special transparent bonding agent, and there are different models. The 3-3 retainer extends from canine to canine, while a 4-4 retainer also includes the first molars.
Costs of retainer
Depending on which retainer you choose, the costs vary.
Retainer: You receive one retainer free of charge in your DrSmile box. Each additional retainer costs £99.
DrSmile permanent retainer: The costs range from £350 to £490. It depends on whether you need the permanent retainer for one or both jaws.
How long do I have to wear a retainer?
The recommended duration of wearing a retainer is usually lifelong. However, in normal cases it is at least the duration of the previously performed dental treatment.
Clean retainers correctly
Permanent retainers can easily be cleaned with a toothbrush. Instead of flossing, you can use an interdental brush to clean the spaces above and below the wire.
You can also brush the removable retainers with a toothbrush. Make sure you use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Also use a mild toothpaste to avoid damaging the retainer.
For a long-lasting thorough cleaning of the permanent retainer, it is also recommended to have a professional dental cleaning twice a year.
Damaged permanent retainer - What can I do?
Since the retainer is permanently attached, it is possible that the wire will loosen or break after a few years. To avoid the risk of swallowing the retainer, you should consult a dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible if the retainer is damaged. He or she can then remove the damaged retainer and replace it with a new one.
Reattach and replace retainers - the cost of repairs
Generally, the DrSmile retainer comes with a 2-year guarantee. If your retainer needs to be replaced or repaired after the guarantee has expired, you will unfortunately have to pay the costs yourself. The costs depend on the extent of the repair.
Can teeth shift even with retainers? You may encounter these problems
In normal cases, the teeth should not shift if permanent retainer is fitted correctly and tightly. Similarly, shifting is unlikely if the retainer is worn for the recommended length of time. However, it is possible that after removing the retainer several times, a pressure sensation can be felt when wearing it again. If this happens, the retainer should be worn more frequently to prevent the teeth from shifting.