A permanent or fixed retainer is, basically, a piece of metal wire attached to the inner side of your teeth. The metal wire is glued to your teeth to hold them in place so that they don’t move back to their pre-braces position.
Your orthodontist may advise you to use a removable retainer for the upper teeth and a fixed retainer for the lower. As fixed retainers are more convenient, they are becoming popular, especially among people with a busy lifestyle.
Are you wondering whether permanent retainers are the right choice for you?
In this article, I discuss how permanent retainers work and describe their benefits and drawbacks.
How Do Permanent Retainers Work?
A permanent retainer is commonly referred to as a lingual wire because it is fixed to the back surfaces of the teeth.
Since a glue known as bonding material is used to attach the retainer, it is often called a bonded retainer too.
To resolve the issue of crooked or misaligned teeth, orthodontists’ resort to braces. Braces help move your teeth into the right alignment and correct problems like crowding or spacing.
However, many people discover that once their braces are removed, their teeth begin to shift back to their previous position. To maintain the teeth in their new position, your orthodontist would want to restrict their movement. Otherwise, the entire treatment may end up failing due to relapse.
This is where permanent retainers come into play. Permanent retainers secure the teeth effectively. You don’t need to take them out and place them back like removable retainers.
How Much Do Permanent Retainers Cost?
The charges of the first permanent retainer are typically covered within the overall charges of the braces.
However, you can expect the cost to be anywhere between $150 to $500 if you need to get a replacement for a broken or lost permanent retainer.
What Are the Benefits of Permanent Retainers?
- Convenient– You won’t need to take your retainers on and off.
- Almost no speech interference– You won’t be uneasy while speaking in public.
- Unnoticeable– No one would notice that you have your retainers in place as the wires are placed on the inner and less visible surfaces of your teeth.
- No fear of loss or damage– As the retainers are attached to your teeth, there is less chance of losing a retainer.
What Are the Benefits of Removable Retainers?
- Removable– You can remove them when you want to eat something.
- Easy to clean– Maintenance of removable retainers is easy as you can soak them in a cleaning liquid and wash them with water.
- Better for upper teeth– Fixed retainers on upper teeth are prone to damage as your lower teeth may bite on them.
- Easy to maintain oral hygiene– You can just take them off before brushing or flossing your teeth.