A retainer is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. While braces or aligners move your teeth to their ideal positions, your retainer keeps them there for a lifetime. Without a retainer, your teeth are likely to shift once your braces are removed, which is referred to as orthodontic relapse. After spending so much time and money to achieve a beautiful smile, the last thing you want is to have to do it all again a few years later!
If you’re wondering how much retainers cost, there are a few factors to consider.
Types of Retainers
There are a few different types of retainers that orthodontists use to maintain your results. The one we choose for you depends on your orthodontic case, your lifestyle, and your preferences. Options include:
A bonded retainer is a wire that is bonded to the backs of your teeth to keep them from moving. Many patients prefer this type of retainer because it is discreet, unobtrusive, and they don’t need to remember to put them in each night. In theory, this type of retainer lasts forever, although if it does happen to fall off, it can be easily bonded back into place. They can be used on both arches.
One of the main drawbacks of a bonded retainer is that it makes it difficult to floss. Without diligent brushing, plaque and tartar can build up around the wire, setting the stage for tooth decay. Some patients also find that permanent retainers irritate their tongues, although this is usually only temporary as you adjust to it.
Clear Plastic Retainers (Essix Retainers)
Essix retainers look much like Invisalign aligners—in fact, Invisalign makes its own clear plastic retainers for patients to wear once treatment is complete. While aligners are made of very thin plastic, an Essix retainer is slightly thicker because unlike aligners, a retainer is meant to last more than two weeks.
Even if you had traditional metal braces, you can still use one of these retainers. Clear plastic retainers are comfortable, clear, and easy to replace, but their lifespan is short—typically only two years.
Hawley retainers are what many patients envision when they think of retainers—they’re made with metal wires to hold the teeth in place and an acrylic or plastic base that is shaped to fit flush against the roof and bottom of your mouth. These retainers can last for years with proper care and they can be adjusted if needed.
Unlike clear plastic retainers and permanent retainers, Hawley retainers are more noticeable and they can affect your speech. Still, since they’re primarily worn at night, this isn’t usually a dealbreaker for most patients.
The Cost of Retainers in Minnetonka, MN
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of retainers, let’s talk about how much these retainers cost in Minnetonka. On average:
- Essix retainers cost $100 to $300 per arch; Invisalign Vivera retainers come as a set of four, which costs $400 to $1200 per set
- Bonded retainers cost between $225 to $550 per arch
- Hawley retainers cost between $150 to $340 per arch
Learn More About Your Retainer Options
If you’re nearing the end of your orthodontic treatment and you’d like to start discussing which retainer option is right for you, feel free to contact us or talk to your orthodontist at your next appointment.