When people think about the end of treatment, they tend to think about the moment their braces come off and their new smile is revealed. While this is a momentous occasion, this is not when treatment ends. There is still one more phase to go: retention.
The retention phase of treatment lasts a minimum of 24 months. During this phase, retainers are worn to hold the teeth in their final positions so they can firm up. Without this stage, teeth will migrate back to where they once were. There are a few different types of retainers that can be worn.
QCM retainers are similar to Hawley retainers and are an excellent alternative to them. They have the same acrylic parts but rather than metal wire, they use a plastic labial bow across the front teeth. They are highly effective.
Lingual retainers are cemented to the teeth, placed on the tongue side. They are permanently attached and invisible, unlike Hawley and QCM retainers. Caring for them is similar to caring for braces. They are often used in conjunction with another type of retainer.
Hawley retainers are the classic retainer that most of us are familiar with. They are removable and made from metal wire and acrylic. Hawley retainers are made specifically for the patient, giving them a perfect fit and delivering incredible results.
Essix retainers are clear and made from plastic. They are removable and fit over all the teeth. In essence, they are Invisalign aligners, but designed to keep teeth where they are. These aligners are very affordable and easy to wear.
In every case, we select the retainer that is best for the given patient. To find out what is right for you, schedule your consultation.