You may remember kids in your high school having to wear a retainer after their braces were taken off. This is very common following orthodontic treatment, even in adult mouths.
Teeth can be set into proper alignment through orthodontic treatments, but certain anatomical factors may allow them to shift back out of place. To prevent this, a retainer is often worn after braces are taken off. In many cases for life.
Invisalign® offers many advantages over traditional braces for adult users. Less invasive, faster, more comfortable, and removable for eating and tooth cleaning, there are clear benefits to addressing malocclusion with Invisalign. Not having to wear a retainer after treatment is, however, not among these.
The truth is, you may need to wear a retainer, perhaps for the rest of your life, after your Invisalign treatment. This is not the case for everyone, but neither is it incredibly uncommon. The best way to know for sure is through a one-on-one evaluation and consultation with Mission Viejo orthodontist Dr. E.M. Makhoul.
Types of Dental Retainers
There are three primary types of dental retainers:
- The Hawley retainer. The most common retainer, the Hawley is comprised of a thin piece of acrylic that has been molded to fit into the oral cavity. The wire attached to this type of retainer can be adjusted to correct minor tooth movement.
- Transparent plastic retainers. This type of retainer will look almost identical to your Invisalign aligners and will operate in the same way. New aligners can be created if tooth movement is needed.
- Fixed, bonded retainers. Primarily for patients at high risk for tooth shifting, a fixed retainer is comprised of one wire, affixed to the back of teeth and kept in place for four or more months. This wire will be removed and replaced as needed to prevent teeth from moving out of alignment.
There are benefits and limitations to each type of dental retainer, making some better suited to certain patients than others. The type of retainer you will need, the duration for which it will need to be worn, and the times it will be most useful will all be discussed during your free Invisalign consultation at our Mission Viejo office.
Why Choose Us
Makhoul Dentistry is a practice geared toward complete patient comfort, safety, and happiness. Dr. Makhoul and his staff strive to create a safe and comfortable environment in which your concerns are listened to and your needs are addressed. Proud to make effort towards being the gentlest dentist in the world, Dr. Makhoul is a skilled and trusted dentist who has received many recognitions for his work, including an Angie’s List Super Service Award and a listing as one of America's Top Dentists by the Consumers' Research Council of America.
Trusted, caring, effective, and experienced, Dr. Makhoul welcomes an opportunity to meet with you free of charge to discuss Invisalign treatment and what may be required to keep your smile straight and strong for years to come.
To schedule a consultation at our Mission Viejo office, please call 949-596-2096 today. Dr. Makhoul serves Laguna Niguel and all surrounding California communities.