Sometimes bonded orthodontic retainers are needed to maintain the alignment of teeth. Retention is used when teeth are in good alignment, whether naturally or as the result of orthodontic treatment. After all, you want to keep the straight teeth you were naturally gifted or that you achieved through orthodontia. Teeth can and often will shift throughout your lifetime for a number of reasons, from how you chew to if you tongue thrust or if you experience natural bone movement. If an orthodontist thinks a person’s lower teeth may shift undesirably, a bonded retainer may be recommended.
This device is just what it sounds like: a retainer that’s bonded, permanently, to the lower six teeth. It most often looks like a thin silver bar lining the inside of your teeth. It’s not seen when smiling, and rarely seen when talking or eating. Another person would have to get very close and personal to ever notice a bonded retainer. Plus, it has a relatively smooth surface, unlike traditional braces, so most wearers forget about it completely.
From a purely functional perspective, one of the major benefits of this type of retainer is to prevent crowding or shifting of teeth. A bond is basically a bridge between each tooth, and it can keep spacing correct for a lifetime. An added benefit is that bonded retainers can act as a splint when teeth are damaged, worn down or cracked. If the trauma is recent and requires dental care, the dentist may recommend a bonded retainer solely to keep the framework in place.
Bonded retainers also offer aesthetic benefits. Unlike removable retainers, which may be visible, the bonded retainer is about as noteworthy as a back tooth filling. When it comes to strictly keeping teeth aligned, nothing works better and is more consistent than a bonded retainer. Many insurance policies cover this device and procedure, too, which can make it an affordable option.
Extending Your Investment
As many orthodontic patients know, getting your braces off or finishing that last Invisalign retainer doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to be done. In fact, many orthodontic patients have to care for their teeth additionally in some way for life. Often, this means preserving work that was time-consuming and costly. A bonded retainer is kind of like getting car insurance for that new vehicle. You want to make sure your investment is protected.
An orthodontist can discuss retainer options with you, including evaluating whether you are a good candidate for a bonded retainer. Consider it the icing on the cake of a great orthodontic bonded retainer plan, minus the sugary cavity-causing elements.