What Are Retainers?
Retainers are orthodontic appliances that hold your teeth in their newly aligned position. They can be clear plastic similar to aligners, wires glued to the teeth, removable acrylic plates with wires attached or a combination of the former.
Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions by my patients is... 'How long do I need to wear my retainers for?'
The answer is simple: For as long as you want to keep your teeth straight.
Why Are Retainers Important?
Teeth have a tendency to "relapse" back towards their original position. Maintenance of orthodontic results is no different than maintenance of any other desirable effects on the human body. When we build muscle or become trim with diet and exercise, we quickly lose these benefits if they are not maintained. Newly aligned teeth are no exception. Without proper maintenance with retainers, your newly straightened teeth cannot be expected to remain ideally aligned.
What Type of Retainers Does Dr. Azarko Use for His Patients?
Dr. Azarko believes strongly in the tremendous benefits of Vivera retainers. He recommends this type of clear, removable and comfortable retention for all of his patients.
What Are Vivera Retainers?
Vivera is an Invisalign® proprietary retention system designed to keep your teeth straight for a lifetime.
The Benefits Of Vivera Retainers
- Clear and removable
- Smooth and durable
- Hygienic and comfortable
- Designed primarily for night time wear
- No messy molds or impressions required
- Are not subject to "retainer fatigue" as with conventional plastic appliances
- Can correct small amounts of relapse
- No risk of breakage and immediate relapse as with bonded wires
- Hold your back teeth in position unlike wire retainers glued only on the front teeth
- Will hold your teeth in position indefinitely when worn as prescribed
- Act as a night guard for "dual duty" retention and protection against tooth wear
- Based on your final scan and stored digitally indefinitely
New traditional retainers are based on the current and very possibly relapsed position of your teeth. New Vivera retainers are always based on the final position of your teeth, as they were, at the end of treatment. This is how they are able to correct small amounts of relapse while traditional retainers are not.
Vivera retainers are similar to your last set of aligners. The only difference is they are much more durable and resistant to discoloration. One retainer is worn on your upper teeth and another on your lower teeth, for complete "retention and protection" designed for a lifetime.
How Long Do I Wear My Vivera Retainers?
Dr. Azarko will usually recommend wearing your upper and lower Vivera retainers full time for the first three months. Thereafter, the retainers are suggested to be worn very night or at least 2 nights per week.
How Long Will My Vivera Retainers Last And What Is the Cost?
You will receive a complete set of 4 upper and 4 lower Vivera retainers as part of your treatment. These will last approximately 2 years. The retainers, even though tremendously durable, will fatigue after about 6 months and should be switched out for the next set. After 2 years, you will need to order another set of 4 upper and 4 lower retainers. The cost for these 8 appliances is about $800, or roughly $100 per appliance. The cost for "dual duty" Vivera is much less than traditional retainers and especially night guards. This is often covered by dental insurance as a standard retainer. Dr. Azarko and Invisalign® want you to keep your teeth "straight and protected" for a lifetime.