Let Your Patient Choose What Retainer to Use
Patients usually think that after orthodontic treatment, their teeth will be straight forever. Little do they know that they have to wear retainers to maintain the straightness of their teeth. Patients even know less about the different kinds of retainers.
As a dentist or orthodontist, you have the responsibility to educate your patients about the need for retainers and the ones they’ll need. As such, you can stock up on the different kinds of retainers to give your patients a wide array of options.
Permanent vs. Removable
You can categorize retainers into two overarching categories: permanent and removable. Permanent retainers offer the best maintenance of straightened teeth, but patients have to clean the retainers and their teeth with a floss threader or a similar device.
Removable retainers, on the other hand, have more versatility and are easier to clean, yet they can be easily lost or damaged.
More specific retainers include the removable retainers — Essix and Hawley — as well as the permanent retainers — bonded, fixed, and lingual wire. The Essix, or invisible retainers, fully covers a patient’s teeth and is made out of clear plastic, making it look like Invisalign aligners.
Patients can take advantage of this kind of retainer for its clear look.
Hawley retainers, meanwhile, are made out of a plastic body anchoring wires and clasps that attach the retainer to the teeth. Patients can choose this retainer since it can easily be adjusted and repaired.
People with Hawley retainers also tend to wear their retainers in the long-term more than people with Essix retainers.
Finally, bonded, fixed, and lingual wire retainers simply refer to different constructions of permanent retainers. As mentioned above, patients can experience better results using permanent retainers since patients are stuck with the retainers on.
People can also speak normally most of the time, and the retainer is hidden from sight.
You can offer the previously mentioned retainer options to your patients, and you can list each of their advantages. Your patient can then choose what he or she wants.