Dental Retainers - Costs and Information
What are Retainers?
Retainers, officially known as orthodontic retainers, are devices that are made to hold teeth in place before or after surgery while the gums and surrounding tissue develop and adjust. These devices are most commonly made of metal wires and plastic and are individually molded to the patient according to the shape of their mouth and the specific procedure that was performed.
How do Retainers work?
Following an orthodontic surgery or procedure that is designed to correct or adjust alignment issues in the teeth, the gums will be flexible and capable of further shifting. In order to prevent this shifting, which may lead to a negating of the benefits of the alignment procedure, many dentists recommend the use of retainers. These devices hold the gums and teeth in place and prevent them from being able to move significantly. Retainers are commonly worn throughout the night.
What are the advantages of Retainers?
Retainers are painless and easy to use. They are custom molded for each patient, so the fit is virtually guaranteed to be accurate and comfortable. They are designed to be used each day and then to be cleaned, so with proper maintenance and care they are unlikely to result in increased susceptibility to infection or disease. They are much less expensive than further corrective surgery to fix alignment issues that can develop after an initial procedure.
Who is a candidate for Retainers?
Retainers are most commonly used for patients that have just undergone a corrective alignment procedure such as a tooth excision or braces. The single largest group of retainer users are adolescents who have previously worn braces but have since had them removed. The retainer is typically used throughout the day and at night for these patients. As patients grow older and the teeth become more set in position, the retainer can be used at night only.
How are Retainers made?
The procedure to make and fit retainers is fairly straightforward and painless. A plaster or plastic cast of the roof or base of the mouth is created. Using this cast, a fixed metal wire is attached to butt up against the teeth to hold them in place. The retainer is held in place in the mouth through natural suction.
What will the results be like?
The goal of the retainer is to prevent further changes to the positioning of the teeth after a procedure, or to prepare the mouth for these procedures in rarer cases. Thus, the goal of the retainer is to prevent any adjusting of the position of the teeth. A successful retainer will leave the mouth essentially as it is.
What are the risks?
There are few risks associated with retainers. One of the primary considerations is whether the retainer may constitute a choking hazard for the patient; patients that are deemed too young will not be given a retainer. If the retainer is not maintained and cleaned properly, it may contribute to increased risk of infection or disease.
Dentists in Beverly Hills, CA
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