Fixed or Essix Retainer for Gapped Teeth? (photo)

I'm 26 years old, and got my braces 13 months ago and should have them taken off within 2 weeks. I had big spaces between my teeth. My ortho doesn't believe in permeant retainers and refuses to put them on his patients. I'm leaving the country in several months and would not be able to see him in case the spaces came back, so I want to get permeant retainers with any other ortho and wear the essix retainers which my current ortho will provide. Is that a good idea to keep teeth from moving?

Doctor Answers 3

Permanent retainer and clear retainer work well together

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Permanent retainers with clear retainers are indeed a very good idea for your case. The fixed retainers will hold the front spaces closed, and the clear retainers will hold the back spaces closed. The Invisalign Vivera retainers would be a great option, since you can get them to fit over fixed retainers, you get 4 sets instead of just one, and they can be replaced with a phone call instead of an impression. You can get Vivera by taking an impression or iTero scan after braces too, it's not just for Invisalign patients. Be sure to wear your retainers for life and get a replacement set regularly.

San Ramon Orthodontist

Essix retainers

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I think it's a good idea to get both essix and bonded retainers. in cases like yours, i give my patients both. especially since you were treated as an adult, it will not be a completely stable case. I would explain the situation that you are leaving the country to your doctor and see if you can convince him to give you both. You will have to get the bonded retainers first and then do the essix , which will fit on top.


Mojdah Akhavan, DDS
San Diego Orthodontist

If You Won't Be Seeing Your Orthodontist in Retention a Fixed Retainer is A Great Idea

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I find it odd that your orthodontist won't accomodate your request, but I don't know all the details (I am assuming you want fixed retainers in the normal places). 

It is often a good idea to have an Essix retainer made to fit over the permanent retainer to protect it from night grinding, so perhaps you and your orthodontist can have it both ways. Keep in mind the impressions for the essix need to be taken after the permanent retainers are bonded to your teeth.

It looks like your orthodontist did a very nice job of fitting your teeth together. I would go back to your orthodontist and ask he/she about a permanent retainers + essix retainers solution before going elsewhere if you are that dead set on it.

Scott Frey, DDS
Allentown Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.