I use the following types of retainers:

1. Full coverage Essix retainers.

Essix retainers are very good at maintaining the entire arch and keeping spaces closed. Upper and lower essix retainers resist wear

due to plastic against plastic. Whenever there are natural teeth against essix plastic the retainer will need replacement in as short a

time as one year, depending on the grinding habits of the patient. This is why upper and lower essix retainers act as a grinding or

bruxing guard and help to cushion the TM joint.

After the braces are removed impressions are taken and two upper and two lower Essix retainers are made in our lab and delivered

to the patient on the same day. An appointment is made for one month later. At that appointment final photos are taken

and the retainers are checked. The patient is given the models that the retainers were made on so that if a retainer is lost

a new one can be made immediately. It is important that the patient always has two sets of retainers so that if one is lost

there is always a back up. The models are made of resin-reinforced stone that resists breakage and allows multiple retainers to be made.

Patients are asked to wear the retainers full time for one week and then every night after that for two years.

At that time the patient is given the option of wearing the retainers less but at least two nights per week, or continuing with every night.

2. Bonded Lingual Retainers

Full coverage Essix retainers are made for all patients to be worn at night, even if they have bonded lingual retainers.

This is to retain posterior teeth and closed extraction sites. If a bond fails on a fixed lingual retainer (and they do) the Essix retainer is worn full time

to maintain tooth positions until a new lingual retainer is bonded indirectly.

Lingual retainers indirect bonded before debond

Lingual retainer on model and in transfer tray

Lingual retainer bonded to canines only, always combined with a removable Essix.

The following articles reinforce why I like Essix retainers