Just because you’ve finally moved past needing your braces doesn’t mean the works done. At this point, you’ll need to start wearing retainers. If you don’t, your teeth start to drift over time because the effect of braces will end up going away. Not something anyone who has worn braces wants to have happen. Wearing a retainer after braces prevents teeth from shifting back into their previous positions. Retainer options vary from the removable solutions that you just wear at night or the permanent option – bonded retainers.
What is a Bonded Retainer?
This orthodontic device is basically exactly as it the name suggests – a retainer that is permanently bonded to teeth (typically the lower 6 teeth in the middle). Bonded retainers look like a thin silver line on the inside, back area of the teeth. These retainers also have a smooth surface and in contrast to conventional braces or retainers, wearers typically don’t even notice that they’re there. In addition, they’re basically unnoticeable, whether you’re eating, talking or smiling.
When Bonded Retainers are Recommended
In some cases, bonded retainers are necessary to retain the alignment of teeth. It’s quite common for teeth to shift over time for several reasons, ranging from the natural movement of bone, to how you chew your food. If an orthodontist feels that a patient’s lower teeth might end up shifting undesirably over time, they’ll probably recommend a bonded retainer.
Functional Benefits of Bonded Retainers
From a functional standpoint, one of the primary benefits of bonded retainers is that they can keep teeth from shifting or crowding. Bonded retainers act as a bridge in between each tooth and can ensure the correct spacing for a lifetime. In addition, for teeth that are damaged (worn down, cracked, etc.), bonded retainers act as a permanent splint. An orthodontist may also recommend a bonded retainer if the patient has experienced a recent dental trauma to keep the framework in position.
Aesthetic Benefits of Bonded Retainers
In contrast to removable retainers that may be visible, bonded retainers, as mentioned above, are virtually unnoticeable.
Conserving Your Smile
Anybody who has had braces will tell you that just because you finally get them off or have moved past the last Invisalign retainer, doesn’t mean there isn’t additional work to be done. In reality, most orthodontic patients are required to care for their teeth in one way or another for life. In many cases this includes preserving the costly, time consuming work that was done to achieve that gorgeous smile. A bonded retainer can insure that your investment is well protected.
Nothing works better or is more reliable than a bonded retainer when it comes to keeping teeth aligned. Something else to keep in mind is that a lot of insurance policies cover bonded retainers as well as the treatment which can help make it an affordable solution.
An orthodontist will be able to go over retainer solutions with you, which will include assessing whether a bonded retainer would be a good option for your specific case.
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.