Retainers are a significant part of your aftercare once your braces come off. Since they’re so important, you may be concerned that you or your child could lose or break the retainer, which can happen in many situations, including sports games, car accidents, or ordinary forgetfulness.
Whatever the reason, you may have to replace a broken or lost retainer and wonder how much they will cost. Continue reading to learn how much do retainers cost to replace.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
Types of Retainers
There are two types of retainers: active and passive. Active retainers are used to correct minor malocclusions in patients whose teeth require treatment but whose issues are not severe enough to warrant braces. Passive retainers are the more common type, which are worn after braces to maintain the new position of your teeth after treatment has concluded.
Both types of retainers can be made using multiple methods of construction. For example, most retainers are made from medical-grade plastic sculpted from a mold of your teeth. But there are also Hawley retainers, which can be active or passive and which have a metal wire lined with acrylic. They look different but are used in the same way. Finally, permanent retainers, which are a metal wire bonded to the back of your teeth, are fixed and offer a lasting solution to preventing relapse.
In the case of passive retainers, you will only be prescribed one. Any replacements will likely be the same. In the case of active retainers, your orthodontist will likely give you several at a time so you can advance your treatment based on your schedule when your teeth reach a certain point in their movement. Permanent lingual retainers are long-lasting and are usually only applied once.
Each type of retainer has its own upsides and downsides, including the cost of replacement and the frequency you can expect to do so.
How Much Do Retainers Cost to Replace?
The removable clear plastic retainers, whether active or passive, including Invisalign, are made to last around two years. This means that you can expect to pay for a replacement eventually, even if you do not lose or break them. These retainers can cost anywhere from $400 to $800, assuming you need them for both arches.
The allure of the Hawley retainers, which are less sleek and comfortable, is that they are also much cheaper. A Hawley retainer can cost as little as $150 to replace, though it can be up to $500, and lasts for up to 20 years.
Permanent bonded retainers cost around $500 per arch, but they are not supposed to need replacing. So long as you care for your permanent retainers, you won’t likely need to change them, though the bonding can wear away over time and may require a quick dental procedure to correct. That procedure can cost up to $125.
How long do I have to wear my retainer?
After your braces come off, you will need to wear your retainer, no matter which type you choose, for 22 hours per day or more for at least a year. After that, your orthodontist may advise that you can cut back and only wear it at night.
How many years should I wear my retainer?
Retainers are designed to maintain the hard work you put into your braces. No matter how long after your treatment you wait, if you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth will eventually move back to their original positions.
Do retainers hurt?
Retainers can cause discomfort at first, especially if they are the Hawley models. They can even slightly impair speech. To get used to them, orthodontists recommend reading out loud for 15 minutes per day until you acclimate to how they feel.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.