About Our Retainers
Redlands, CA dentist, Dr. Steve Tatevossian, offers orthodontic treatment for patients desiring straighter, more aligned teeth. When braces are finally removed, the patient is then fitted for a retainer, which is the final phase of treatment for orthodontic work. The objective of this phase is to ensure the teeth do not regress back to their previous position. A retainer will be used to maintain the improved position of the teeth. A retainer is a fixed or removable dental appliance which is custom-made to fit the teeth. Retainers are generally made from transparent plastic and thin wires to optimize the comfort of the patient. Retainers are worn for varying amounts of time, depending on the type of orthodontic treatment and the age of the patient. Patients must be adhere to a proactive effort to wear their retainer after orthodontic work. If the retainer is not worn as directed, treatment can fail or take much longer than anticipated.
Types of Retainers
There are a variety of retainers available; each one geared towards treating a different kind of dental problem. Dr. Tatevossian will make a retainer recommendation depending on the nature of the original diagnosis and the orthodontic treatment plan.
The following are some of the most common types of retainers:
- Hawley retainer – The Hawley retainer consists of a metal wire on an acrylic arch. The metal wire may be periodically adjusted by the orthodontist to ensure the teeth stay in the desired position. The acrylic arch is designed to fit comfortably on the lingual walls or palate of the mouth.
- Essix – The Essix retainer is the most commonly used vacuum formed retainer (VFR). A mold is initially made of the teeth in their new alignment, and then clear PVC trays are created to fit over the arch in its entirety. This type of retainer is much cheaper than many other types of retainers and they also do not affect the aesthetic appearance of the smile in the same way as the Hawley retainer. The disadvantage of is that they break and scratch more easily than other types of retainers.
- Fixed retainer – A fixed retainer is somewhat similar to a lingual brace in that it is affixed to the tongue side of a few teeth. Usually, a fixed retainer is used in cases where there has been either rapid or substantial movement of the teeth. It usually consists of a single wire. The inclination of the teeth to move rapidly means they are also more likely to regress back to their previous position if a fixed retainer is not placed.
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"Best Dentist and Staff I've ever been to! ( I'm in my 60's!) Always have taken care of my teeth! At King House Dental I've not only taken care of them but improved them. Had to have cleaning's ever 3-4 months from receding gum's coffee, etc. Just had a failing bridge replaced and my bottom five front teeth capped. Total of eight. Best investment I've ever made! I highly recommend KING HOUSE DENTAL ! I have to say Thank You Doctor T! and the great people that work with him for my new smile that I'm very proud of!Mike Coleman"- M.C. / Google / Feb 04, 2020
"By far the best dental office I’ve been to I have dreaded going to the dentist for the past 15 years I’ve had sure bad experiences and I said I would never go back until I need to get a cavities done and a root canal when I tell you my first visit at King House dental was by far the best experience I’ve had in a dental office dr. T and his staff are truly amazing they made me feel comfortable and ease my worries You guys walked me through everything as explained step by step didn’t judge me and you had the patience to guide me through a good experience I think you guys so much from the bottom of my heart I highly recommend this place I will continue to keep going here you guys are truly amazing and have giving me the confidence that I need it.Thank you all so much."- N.S. / Facebook / Sep 06, 2020
"By far the best dental office I’ve been to I have dreaded going to the dentist for the past 15 years I’ve had sure bad experiences and I said I would never go back until I need to get a cavities done and a root canal when I tell you my first visit at King House dental was by far the best experience I’ve had in a dental office dr. T and his staff are truly amazing they made me feel comfortable and ease my worries You guys walked me through everything as explained step by step didn’t judge me and you had the patience to guide me through a good experience I think you guys so much from the bottom of my heart I highly recommend this place I will continue to keep going here you guys are truly amazing and have giving me the confidence that I need it.Thank you all so much."- N.P. / Yelp / Sep 05, 2020
These are a few basic things to consider for proper use and maintenance of your retainer:
Don't lose the appliance – Removable retainers are very easy to lose. It is advisable to place your retainer in the case it came in while eating, drinking and brushing. Leaving a retainer folded in a napkin at a restaurant or in a public restroom can be very costly if lost because a replacement must be created. A brightly colored case serves as a great reminder.
Don't drink while wearing a retainer – It is tempting to drink while wearing a retainer because of the unobtrusive nature of the device. However, excess liquid trapped under the trays can vastly intensify acid exposure to teeth, increasing the probability of tooth decay.
Don't eat while wearing a retainer – It can be difficult and awkward to eat while wearing a removable retainer and it can also damage the device. Food can get trapped around a Hawley retainer wire or underneath the palate, causing bad breath. When worn on the upper and lower arches simultaneously, VFR retainers do not allow the teeth to meet. This means that chewing is almost impossible.
Clean the retainer properly – Removable retainers can become breeding grounds for calculus and bacteria. It is essential to clean the inside and outside thoroughly as often as possible. Hawley retainers can be cleaned with a toothbrush. Because harsh bristles can damage the PVC surface of a VFR, denture cleaner or a specialized retainer cleaner is recommended for this type of device.
Wear the retainer as directed – This phase of treatment is critical. The hard work has been done, the braces are off and now it is tempting not to wear the retainer as often as the orthodontist recommends. Retainers are needed to give the muscles, tissues and bones time to stabilize the teeth in their new alignment. Failure to wear the retainer as directed can have regrettable consequences, such as teeth returning to their original position, added expense and lost time.
Plan Your Procedure
If you would like to learn more about orthodontic retainers, please contact King House Dental to inquire about a consultation with Dr. Steve Tatevossian.