Expert Orthodontic Treatment with Your Tulsa, OK Orthodontist
At the office of Dr. Robert J. Herman, our mission is simple: help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that you can be proud of for a lifetime. Dr. Herman and his dedicated team of highly trained orthodontic specialists work hard to personalize treatment, designing custom treatment plans that perfectly match our patients’ unique needs and lifestyles. We’re proud to offer a wide variety of orthodontic treatments including traditional braces and Invisalign, but the orthodontic treatment process doesn’t end after we’ve created your new smile – equally important is cementing that smile for a lifetime with retainers.
The Importance of Wearing a Retainer
Simply put, wearing a retainer – called the “retention phase” of orthodontic treatment – is critical to ensuring your smile lasts a lifetime. That’s because even though your teeth are in their new positions after finishing with braces or Invisalign, the underlying bones, tissues, and ligaments that support the teeth have yet to adapt to the new alignments. Without retention, your teeth will just drift back to their old positions, erasing all your hard work! Retainers allow your teeth to settle into place, preventing them from regressing and protecting your new smile for the rest of your life.
For most patients, we’ll recommend wearing the retainer during the night time, as we’ve found that this schedule both reduces the chances of losing your retainer and is completely sufficient for protecting your new smile. That being said, your exact wear instructions from Dr. Herman will depend on the type of retainer you receive.
Types of Retainers
Every patient is different, and we offer a variety of retainers to suit your needs. Depending on your specific orthodontic situation, we may opt to use any of the following retainers for you:
- Hawley Retainer: This is the “classic” form of retainer, consisting of a piece of acrylic molded to fit the roof of the mouth and several wires that wrap around the teeth to keep them in place. They are simple, durable, and effective, making them a great all-around option for retention treatment.
- Fixed Retainer: A fixed retainer, also called a bonded retainer, is a great option for patients with a high likelihood of having teeth regress to old positions. A fixed retainer simply consists of a metal wire that runs along the inside (tongue side) of the teeth and is cemented to the teeth themselves. As the name suggests, fixed retainers can’t be taken out, which makes them highly effective for protecting the smile, but also means you’ll need to use a floss threader to clean your teeth. Since they’re placed on the backs of teeth, fixed retainers are almost impossible to see from the outside.
A New Option: Vivera Retainers
We’re proud to offer a new retainer option – the Retainer Replacement Plan, featuring Vivera Retainers by Invisalign. Vivera Retainers are manufactured with the same technology as the revolutionary Invisalign system. Unlike Hawleys or fixed retainers, Vivera Retainers are made from a clear, transparent material, making them almost invisible from the outside. They’re created to have a smooth, comfortable, and precise fit, helping to protect your smile without sacrificing comfort.
It’s important to realize that no retainer will last forever – usually, they’ll last somewhere between 1 and 3 years. This is where the Retainer Replacement Plan comes in. With this plan, you get 8 retainers (four lower and four upper aligners). This creates a significant discount compared to buying the retainers on their own, and sas long as your teeth haven’t moved, we can order new ones for you without an impression or a scan. We include the first set of retainers as a complementary part of your treatment, but to protect your smile for a lifetime, you can upgrade to the Retainer Replacement Plan for a small additional fee.