When we talk to people, our smile is the very first thing that they notice. No wonder this is a valuable investment that you should not take for granted.For some who want to improve the quality and appearance of their teeth, one of the options recommended by dentists is to use a retainer. If your teeth are not perfectly aligned, this might be the best choice. So, how much do retainers cost?
A retainer is made of metal and plastic that is molded in order to keep your teeth straight. It is custom fit and they are often used after the braces have been totally removed. For those who have minor problems, dentists might recommend the use of retainers especially if you have minor bite problems. Compared to braces, retainers are removable. When you experience teeth crowding, to prevent any misalignment, doctors would recommend the use of the retainer.
Average Retainer Cost
How much do retainers cost? The average retainer cost would vary depending on several factors. For instance, if you use Hawley retainers that are removable and made up of hard acrylic, the cost ranges from $150 to $300. It could cost more especially for a set of both upper and lower teeth ranging from $300 to $600. In most cases, if you previously wore braches, the cost of the retainer is already included so there are no more additional charges. But if ever you need to replace retainers, you will have to pay again since most dental insurance does not include replacement retainers in insurance coverage.
The average retainer cost for other kinds of retainers include:
- For a removable retainer that is used to correct biting problems, the cost ranges from $500 to $2500. This package includes retainers as well as fittings, x-rays and office visits. But depending on the length of the treatment and other factors, the cost may rise.
- Retainers that are made of Vivera clear plastics cost between $300 to $750. This type of retainer is used by those who wore braces before.
- Essix retainers that are made of clear plastic (vacuum-formed) ranges from $100 to $250 for one retainer. For a complete set, it costs about $70 to $250. This kind of retainer might be cheaper, but the downside to it is that it is prone to breakage and you may have to constantly replace it.
- There are also additional costs. When you buy a retainer, it comes with a plastic case and you also need an extra case if ever you lose it.
Comparing Different Kinds of Retainers
When it comes to the types of retainers, they vary in terms of cost, comfort,effects on speed, top and bottom teeth touch, teeth adjustment and how it looks like when you wear it.
The Hawley retainers are considered to be more expensive and although it is less comfortable with vacuum/Essex retainers, it is a better choice since you can easily eat even if you are wearing the retainer, no effects speech and it is almost invisible when you wear it. If you are looking for a much less expensive option, the Vacuum/Essex retainer is more comfortable but it has downsides when it comes to eating with the retainer, effects speed and teeth adjustment.
Conditions that Use Retainers
There are certain conditions where retainers are used. Focused on prevention especially when it comes to teeth spacing and even bad bite known as malocclusion, your dentist might recommend the use of the retainer. There are signs to know if a person is a candidate for using orthodontic appliances like retainers. These signs include the following:
- When your child has improper jaw alignment, your doctor might recommend to retainer. This can cause different disorders like TMD or also known as temporomandibular joint disorders.
- If you experience loss of teeth which result to spacing problems or impacted tooth, you may have to use retainers.
- There are cases where you want to have a major makeover and improve your smile. For a mouth reconstruction and stabilization, orthodontic appliances may be used.
- Other conditions includes : difficulty biting, difficulty breathing, protruding teeth.
- For those who have facial imbalance and experiencing asymmetry, using orthodontic appliances are recommended.
Why Use a Retainer?
Retainers are of paramount importance. You can just imagine what will happen with the placing in your teeth without retainers. The tendency is that your teeth will shift. Even if you are already done wearing your braces, you still need to wear retainers for a lifetime to prevent shifting and rotating. This is basically the reason why dentists would recommend the use of a fixed retainer.
Scheduling an Appointment
Your dentist knows if there is a need for you to wear retainer based on the assessment and evaluation. The more complicated the problem; you can also expect longer treatment and more expensive costs. Since it will also cost you to pay for retainers, make sure that you only go to the dentist that you trust. An orthodontist specializes in such conditions. If you do not know any, you can always ask for referrals. Ask your friends and colleagues if they know someone. After that, you can schedule an appointment.
Other Less Expensive Options
What happens if you lose your retainer? Surely, it is expensive and for some, they are not willing to shed out money for a retainer replacement. Are there other less expensive options?
When you search online, you can actually find that there is an alternative where you can create your own mold and make the retainers at a much lower price which is definitely way cheaper compared to going to an orthodontist. The downside is that although you can reduce costs, you are not sure with the quality of the retainers. So, even if it will cost you money, it is still better to go to a dentist. The average retainer cost is quite expensive. But think of it as an investment.