When Can I Wear my Essix Retainer After Bone Graft/dental Implant Placement?

My dentist advised against wearing my flipper for a week after bone graft/dental implant surgery. When can I wear my essix retainer? Can I have one modified to not apply pressure to the site, so I don't have to go toothless for 7-10 days? Also would it be advisable to put on a bonded retainer on my upper and lower front six teeth, since I may not be able to wear my retainer for up to a month? The implants are going in my upper first premolars. When can my flipper be worn to eat in?

Doctor Answers 6

When to wear an Essix retainer after bone graft/implant?

You can have the Essix placed into your mouth by your surgeon or dentist IMMEDIATELY after the surgery so long as the Essix is NOT placing any undue pressure on the graft/implant. Adjusting an Essix appliance or even a flipper partial denture is easy and can be done right after surgery. There should not be any wait time whatsoever. 

Toronto Periodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

When can I wear my Essix?

I agree with you dentist to not wear the "flipper" immediately.  They can put pressure on the surgical site and potentially interfere with healing depending on the situation.
I feel Essix appliances can be worn immediately when it is verified that there is no tissue pressure.  The beauty of the Essix's design is it is tooth born.  It rests on the teeth instead of the gums.  The Essix also can protect the surgical site from abuse. 
I usually recommend Essix placement immediately at surgery.
Good luck, Brett Silverman DDS, MAGD

Brett Silverman, DDS, MAGD
Alpharetta Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Essix retainer after bone graft and impalnt

Your doctor`s advice sounds completely valid in the case when implants have been placed in the sites of premolars and bone graft has been performed. Usually, after standard procedures that do not require grafting Essix retainer can be used right after the surgery and any occlusal pressure can be applied to surgical sites. In the situation when the bone graft was added, membrane was used and most likely soft tissue on the buccal site was released, certain degree of soft tissue swelling would be expected. Any occlusal pressure, or from any removable appliance can possibly damage the tissue, sutures and be a reason for graft/membrane exposure. First week of bone graft healing is extremely critical due to importance of angiogenesis- formation of new capillaries in the bone graft, high risk of inflammation and infecting the bone graft. My advice in the situations where it is questionable either Essix can be a traumatic factor for soft tissue healing- try to be on a safe side and avoid any contact with soft tissue and avoid wearing a retainer. 

Essix Clear Retainer to Replace Missing Teeth after Implant Placement

I see no reason why you should not wear your Essix retainer after the dental implants are placed.  The purpose of the Essix is yo provide you with the appearance of having the missing teeth while the dental implants heal into the bone. 

It is important to ensure that the Essix is designed properly off the tissue.  The gum tissue is providing the needed blood supply to heal the bone and tissue around the dental implants.  If the tissue is compressed in any fashion then the case is compromised. 

Best regards,

Paresh B Patel

Paresh B. Patel, DDS
Mooresville Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Essix appliance retainers after implant surgery

It is absolutely fine to use the Essix appliance. It should be checked to make sure it is not placing pressure on the soft tissue and adjusted accordingly.

Dr. kazemi

H. Ryan Kazemi, DMD
Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Essix retainers should be worn right away

It seems odd advice to say not to wear anything at all after implant and bone graft placement.  Flipper type provisionals can affect the tissues, but essix retainers are the chosen alternative.  These can be modified to not affect tissues, and often placed the very day implants are placed.

I rarely have patients walk out the door looking like they are missing teeth.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.