There are two main retainer technologies that are used: aligners and Hawley retainers. We offer both retainers, but we think it is important to highlight the significant differences between the two as they both have very clear advantages and disadvantages.
As is always the case, we want our patients to have as much information as possible in order to make an informed decision for their own healthcare.
|Clear "Aligner Style"
|Durability||Lasts years, even decades||Recommend replacement every 6 months|
|Aesthetics||Single labial wire visable, worn when sleeping after first six weeks||Clear acrylic material|
|Ability to adjust individual teeth as needed||Yes, a strength of the appliance||Unless pre-programmed, not effective|
|Stability of the materials||Excellent, short and long term||Short term, good. Long term, the plastic can distort resulting in undesired tooth movement|
|Index of tooth position at retention to monitor relapse||Tooth movement away from retainer easily determined||Cannot be determined|
|Interference with the occlusion, or bite. Can the appliance change the way teeth come together?||When constructed properly, will not change the bite as no teeth make contact with any part of retainer.||Many documented cases of bite changes with wear|
|Maintenance||Cleaning with toothbrush||Cleaning with toothbrush|
|Discoloration||Will discolor, but acrylic not seen unless out of mouth||Will discolor, but is replaced frequently|
|Can retainer indicate changes?||Patient will feel changes to their teeth in microns||Patient may feel changes as their teeth engage the tray, but not close to the sensitivity of the more rigid Hawley|
4 N Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540
803 N Bridge St.
Yorkville, IL 60560