A female asked:
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what are the pros and cons of the plastic retainer vs. the metal retainer, in terms of comfort, flexibility, and what works better in treatment?

4 doctor answers
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
39 years experience Dentistry
Durable & Adjustable: An orthodontic retainer made with a metal wire and acrylic is more durable and is adjustable, to a point. The vacuumed formed/3D printed plastic retainer(s) wear out after a few months of use, but are more easily (and less expensive) to replace if lost or if they wear out. Both are comfortable, and both work well if used correctly. Have your orthodontist show you samples of both.
Answered on May 23, 2016
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Dr. Hilary Baskin
27 years experience Orthodontics
Plastic: if worn regularly will be more effective as it can prevent movement of the molars as well. Depending on need and the case, however, we often will use metal, or a combination as required.
Answered on Jun 29, 2016
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1 thank
Dr. Arnold Malerman
52 years experience Orthodontics
Depends: Depends on the original malocclusion, a decision that should be made by your Orthodontist. Plastic retainers can create some occlusal problems as cover chewing surfaces, hold teeth better as completely surround them, but require frequent replacement. Removable retainers with wire are more durable, a little more difficult to get used to, but last considerably longer. Ask your Orthodontist.
Answered on Jun 29, 2016
1
1 thank
Dr. Howard Schneider
33 years experience Pediatric Dentistry
Both work well: Clear plastic retainer: Pros - more aesthetic, may "hold" the teeth better. Con - saliva can not get under it to rinse off and food and bacteria, and thing you miss brushing off is held right up against your teeth. Retainer with metal wires - Pros - saliva can get to the teeth, less likely to hold food and bacteria against the teeth. Con - less aesthetic, may be more uncomfortable to wear.
Answered on Nov 27, 2017

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