Retention appliances

Retention appliances

The final stage of your orthodontic treatment is called the retention stage. This stage occurs once we remove your braces and it will last a minimum of 12 months and may last indefinitely, depending on your original condition. Retainers support the teeth in their corrected positions and guide the teeth into the established occlusion. They are used to maintain a previous orthodontic result or to simply prevent undesirable movement of the teeth. Retention appliances are typically worn full-time for one year following orthodontic therapy to allow for remodeling of the bones and gums and then nightly thereafter to maintain the orthodontic correction. Failure to wear the retainers as directed, even for a short time, may cause a relapse. Your final outcome depends on your use and care of your retainers.

There are 2 main types of retainers:


This type of retainer is bonded to the inside of your teeth and is permanent. A Bonded Palatal or Lingual Retainer Appliance is usu­ally comprised of a braided stainless steel wire that connects to the oral (back) surfaces of the front teeth. Composite resin is used to attach the appliance to the teeth.

The Bonded Retainer has a greater frequency of debonding (breaking off) as the lower teeth often contact the appliance. It may be helpful to wear a removable retainer while sleeping to prevent trauma to the retainer while preserving the appliance. You need to pay careful attention that it stays intact. If it becomes loose, please contact us immediately.


This type of retainer can be removed when eating or brushing your teeth. You will need to put your retainers in a protective case when they are not being worn so they do not get lost or damaged.

  • Hawley appliance
Hawley Appliance is a removable ap­pliance most often comprised of stainless steel clips (clasps) on the posterior teeth, a wire (la­bial bow) across the front teeth, and a polished acrylic framework along the inside of the roof of the mouth (palate), reinforced with stainless steel wires.
  • Essix appliance
An Essix Appliance is a clear plastic shell that con­forms exactly to the contours of the teeth to aid in the maintenance of tooth position (retention). The Essix material does not typically cover the palatal tissues at upper jaw.  If the Essix Appliance shows signs of “wear and tear”, there is usually no cause for concern unless it breaks completely.
  • Full-Coverage splint appliance

A Full Coverage Splint Appliance is a clear acrylic appliance that conforms exactly to the contours of the teeth to aid in establishing even contact between the upper and lower teeth. The appliance often has stainless steel clips that help to hold the appliance in the mouth. The acrylic does not typi­cally cover the palatal tissues much, if at all.

The Full Coverage Splint Appliance is used primar­ily to establish even contact of the teeth during biting to reduce trauma to the teeth, bony/soft tissue support, and/or associated musculature and joints. The appliance is typically worn while at home and while sleeping and perhaps during strenuous exercise or stressful work.

  • Positioner appliance

A Positioner Appliance is a clear, flexible “mouth guard” style appliance that conforms exactly to the contours of the teeth.

The Positioner Appliance is used to maintain a previous orthodontic result or to simply prevent undesirable movement of the teeth. In some circumstances, the appliance is also used to attain minor tooth alignment or minor closure of the bite. If used as a retention appliance, the Positioner is worn for four hours during the day and all night.

Remember: Retention is as important as the treatment itself and is essential to the long-term maintenance of your new bite and smile!


If you have any questions, please email us or call our office directly. We look forward to seeing you in our Belgrade Studiodent office and helping to improve your health and well-being.

Please call our office at +381 64 199 4749 or +381 11 324 1689 for any questions or to schedule an appointment.