Lingual bonded retainers are also known as permanent retainers because they are bonded to the back surfaces of the teeth and are not removed from the mouth. These retainers hold the lower front six teeth or the upper two to four front teeth in place. The idea behind the design of these retainers is because the front teeth are statistically the most likely teeth to see movement. These retainers do not address the posterior teeth, however, posterior teeth can still move. For this reason, an overlaying full coverage Essix retainer is often recommended to be worn in tandem with the bonded retainer.
The biggest advantage of this retainer is the ability to hold the front teeth in place without worrying about having to keep track of a removable appliance. Due to the nature of this retainer, special care must be given to make sure it remains in place. The retainer is essentially a wire that is bonded to the backside or lingual side of the front teeth utilizing the same type of dental cement that brackets and Invisalign attachments are bonded with. The same kind of preventive care will be required for this retainer as was required with the braces and wires. This includes avoiding hard and sticky foods which may dislodge the cement as well as increased attention to flossing under the bonded wire to prevent gum disease. The wire presents the same challenge to flossing as with braces and floss threaders will be needed to aid the patient in caring for the retainer. This is not usually a recommended retainer for patients who have challenges maintaining proper oral hygiene. The removable Essix and Hawley retainers are more hygiene-friendly because brushing and flossing with these retainers is much easier.
biggest disadvantage to this retainer in addition to the challenge of brushing and flossing is the issue of breakage. The retainer is bonded to each tooth individually. If the bond on the end tooth is lost, the wire may bend out and it may catch the tongue. If a bond on a middle tooth is lost, it may not be noticed until the tooth has moved forward making it hard or impossible to repair. In this situation, Dr. Renick, our orthodontist, may explain that retention or treatment will require a different solution than another permanent bonded lingual retainer. This is one reason for the tandem full coverage Essix to ensure the teeth won’t move if some cement is lost from a tooth until Dr. Renick can repair it.
To learn more about bonded retainers and make your appointment with Dr. Renick, our orthodontist in Sunbury, Ohio, call Renick Orthodontics at 740-936-5003.