Bonded retainers are one of the options we have for keeping your teeth in place once your orthodontic treatment is complete. Also known as a permanent or fixed retainer, a bonded retainer is a metal wire that is bonded to the backs of your teeth. With this retainer, we can prevent something called orthodontic relapse, or your teeth shifting back to their original positions.
The choice between a bonded retainer and a removable retainer is one that we’ll work together to make. You’ll need to have a certain amount of tooth surface available for a bonded retainer, but there are other considerations as well. Bonded retainers are a great option for patients who feel they may have trouble remembering to wear a removable retainer every night, but they do make it more difficult to floss and brush.
For many patients, an ideal solution is to have a removable retainer for the top teeth and a bonded retainer on the bottom. With proper care, bonded retainers last a long time and do a terrific job of helping maintain your beautiful new smile.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bonded Retainers
Are permanent retainers for life?
While bonded retainers will last for many years, and sometimes even decades, it’s common for this type of retainer to bend or break off partially or completely after several years of use. This happens more frequently with bonded retainers on the top teeth than on the bottom teeth, as the top teeth are used to bite into foods and are more prone to damage. If your permanent retainer bends or comes off, it should be repaired or replaced.
How much are bonded retainers?
Bonded retainers range from $250 to $500 for a single arch. Because these retainers last for so many years, they are an economical solution and often cost less than other types of retainers.
Do bonded retainers affect speech?
No, bonded retainers are small and comfortable; they have no impact on your speech at all.
Can bonded retainers be removed?
Yes, bonded retainers can be removed, but only by a dentist or orthodontist, as the bonding material used to hold the retainer in place needs to be drilled off and then the teeth need to be cleaned and polished to remove any remaining bonding.
How do you clean bonded retainers?
You’ll want to take a little extra care when brushing—just like when you had your braces, brush above and below the wire. To floss, you’ll need a floss threader to get the floss under the wire. Because flossing takes a little more time with a bonded retainer, it’s a good idea to floss at night instead of in the morning when you need to rush out the door to get to work or school!
Can I get a permanent retainer after Invisalign?
The Invisalign system has its own removable retainers, called Vivera, but many patients prefer to have a bonded retainer instead. We’ll help you decide which option is best for you.