How Much Do Dental Retainers

How Much Do Dental Retainers
The dental industry has made many strides in the past 25 years with the improvement of technology, material, and treatments. One of the most common orthodontic procedures is the straightening of teeth. Many dental patients desire a perfect smile and that requires time and money. Patients can achieve straight teeth through a variety of methods including braces, Envisaging, or other aligners. Once the treatments are complete and your smile is perfect you’ll need to maintain the placement of your teeth with a dental device called a retainer. These orthodontic products will firmly keep your teeth in place and prevent them from shifting back to their natural positions. There are a few different types of retainers for teeth, each with a different cost. Let’s take a look at the different types of dental retainers and their costs.

Essix-Plus Clear Teeth Retainers:

This type of retainer is the most convenient due to its versatile nature. The retainer is made from 1mm essix-plus material which makes it more durable compared to the standard essix. These retainers are removable and easy to snap into place whether you are at work or getting ready for bed. If you choose to wear your retainer during the day, the super-clear and thin material make it less noticeable. With the retainer so thin, it also makes speaking an easy task. The tight fit will allow you to properly pronounciate to your co-workers or classmates as the retainers keep your teeth in place.

You’ll need to give essix-clear retainers a daily cleaning and deep cleaning every week. They can be susceptible to white or yellow spots if not properly cared for but with the essix-plus material, it will be harder for these spots of bacteria to form. Plastic retainers have a lifespan of about two years with proper care.

The price of essix-plus plastic retainers varies, especially if you are using a dentist. A typical plastic single retainer from the dentist costs between $150-$200. If you get a set for both your top and bottom teeth, the price increases between $350-$700. With your dentist, you’ll need to schedule an appointment and get your impressions on file. The price for plastic retainers can be costly for a dentist, however, there are other more affordable and convenient options. Online retailers like Sporting Smiles offer custom teeth retainers ranging from $65 for a single retainer to $130 for a set. You can order your first set of retainers or a replacement from Sporting Smiles all online. The retainers you receive is the same quality you’d receive from the dentist but at a much better price.


These retainers are the original retainer dating back to the early 1900s. Named after their inventor, Dr. Charles Hawley, this retainer is wired. The Hawley retainer is made from wire and dental acrylic to fit together in your mouth. Today, Hawley retainers have become less mainstream, but some people still use them. The biggest advantage to a Hawley Retainer is that it is adjustable if needed.

Hawley Retainers can be a bit uncomfortable if not properly fitted, so it’s best to have your dentist adjust it to avoid damaging your teeth or the retainer. These retainers can also be a food magnet. It’s unwise to eat or drink with this retainer on as the food could get stuck in the wires. Not only does this mean you’d have to thoroughly wash the wired retainers, but Hawley Retainers can snap with the wire. The good news is that the wired retainer can be repaired for a cost.

To get a Hawley Retainer, you’ll need to visit the dentist and get it prescribed to you. Most dentists have moved away from the Hawley Retainer but some still prefer it if the customer is okay with it. A cost of a Hawley Wired Retainer is between $175 – $325.

Permanent Fixed Retainer:

A permanent retainer is created when the dentist bonds a wire on the lingual side of the teeth using light-curable bonding cement. A permanent retainer has both pros and cons. With it, you won’t need to remember to put your retainer in at night and you’ll be able to speak clearly. This retainer is typically given to patients who need a constant reminder to wear a retainer before their teeth begin to shift back. You can have a permanent fixed retainer on either your bottom or top set of teeth.

Cleaning your teeth will become quite a chore with a fixed retainer. Flossing is near impossible where the retainer is placed, and you’ll need a metal plaque pick to scrape off the minerals or pry food from between the wire and your teeth which will build up after every meal. Fixed retainers also come with the risk of breaking down over time. These are meant to be permanent, meaning they are forever in your mouth. At times, the bonding cement may chip off resulting in the wire coming loose and poking into the back of your teeth.

A permanent retainer is great at holding your teeth in place but it can become a large chore to clean routinely. To receive a permanent retainer you’d need to go to your dentist and have it bonded on to your teeth along with regular check-ups on it. A fixed retainer approximately costs between $250 – $400. A dentist would rarely put a permanent retainer on both your upper and lower teeth but it happens. The most common placement is the lower set of teeth, with the dentist advising that you get a plastic essix-plus retainer for the top set.

In conclusion, the type of dental retainer and where you purchase it can change the cost. Each retainer has its benefits but the clear plastic retainers are what dentists are offering the majority of their patients. Going to a dentist for plastic removable retainers can range from $150 – $700 or you can order the same ones from an online retailer for between $65 – $130. A Hawley Retainer will cost between $175-$325, while a fixed permanent retainer will cost anywhere from $250 – $400.

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