11 doctors weighed in:
Does the orthodontist do the mold for the retainer while the patient still has braces on?
11 doctors weighed in

Dr. Louis Sterling
Dentistry - Prosthodontics
4 doctors agree
In brief: Depends
Some do. Some don't.

In brief: Depends
Some do. Some don't.
Dr. Louis Sterling
Dr. Louis Sterling
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Dr. David Schleimer
Dentistry - Orthodontics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Age/stage dependent
If it is a phase i ortho patient, in mixed dentition, i find it much better to make an impression a few weeks before deband.
The few anterior maxillary braces can be sculpted off the model and a traditional hawley retainer made, ready to be placed on the day of appliance removal. If a full tx case, i remove apps, and use vacuum formed max retainer and possible lower, or bonded lingual 3-3.

In brief: Age/stage dependent
If it is a phase i ortho patient, in mixed dentition, i find it much better to make an impression a few weeks before deband.
The few anterior maxillary braces can be sculpted off the model and a traditional hawley retainer made, ready to be placed on the day of appliance removal. If a full tx case, i remove apps, and use vacuum formed max retainer and possible lower, or bonded lingual 3-3.
Dr. David Schleimer
Dr. David Schleimer
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Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Differs
Some orthodontists take molds with the braces still in place.
Others prefer to remove all the braces before making retainers. Depends on the patient's individual problems and the preferences of the orthodontist. Both ways work just fine. Follow your orthodontist's advice.

In brief: Differs
Some orthodontists take molds with the braces still in place.
Others prefer to remove all the braces before making retainers. Depends on the patient's individual problems and the preferences of the orthodontist. Both ways work just fine. Follow your orthodontist's advice.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dr. Arnold Malerman
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Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Sometimes
I prefer to take the retainer impression after the braces are removed.
However, when i really worried about relapse i will take the impressions with the braces off so that the retainers will be ready when the braces come off.

In brief: Sometimes
I prefer to take the retainer impression after the braces are removed.
However, when i really worried about relapse i will take the impressions with the braces off so that the retainers will be ready when the braces come off.
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
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1 comment
Dr. David Schleimer
Typo? Prefer to make impression with braces OFF, if worried about relapse? Typo surely. Regards. David
Dr. Robert Stoner
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Depends
We do not. It cannot be made as accurately.

In brief: Depends
We do not. It cannot be made as accurately.
Dr. Robert Stoner
Dr. Robert Stoner
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3 comments
Dr. David Schleimer
Dr. Stoner, we almost always agree, but for Phase I cases, the distortion caused by an impression with a 2x4 appliance is negligible, and I have found no problems pre-making the Hawley by sculpting off the appliances. I think this a practice dependent choice, and if it suits my picky standards, I think it is a plausible way to work. Regards.
Dr. Robert Stoner
Perhaps David, but I rarely do Phase I treatment. I rarely use 3-3 retainters unless I have inadvertently expanded the lower canines 1mm. or the pretreatment canines were rotated. Arch form is maintained and lower incisors are never flared. I use an upper circumferential retainer and lower Hawley with acrylic on the labial bow. I do not like vacuum formed retainers as they inhibit recovery (settling). We make all of our retainers ourselves and therefore they are delivered within 2 days of deband.
Dr. Stanley Siu
Dentistry - Cosmetic
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
The impression for your retainers are not taken until you're completely finished with your orthodontic treatment and only after all the brackets, bands, arch wires, cement are removed and after your teeth have been polished.

In brief: No
The impression for your retainers are not taken until you're completely finished with your orthodontic treatment and only after all the brackets, bands, arch wires, cement are removed and after your teeth have been polished.
Dr. Stanley Siu
Dr. Stanley Siu
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1 comment
Dr. David Schleimer
As I have mentioned here before, it is a personal practice choice for mixed dentition Phase I cases. I believe saying an absolute NO, negates a large number of practitioners who find it perfectly acceptable to sculpt off braces on maxillary anterior teeth and Pre-make the Hawley retainer. So the answer is really no and yes.
In brief: No
The orthodontist does the mold right after the braces comes off.
He then has you come back a couple of hours later for the retainers.

In brief: No
The orthodontist does the mold right after the braces comes off.
He then has you come back a couple of hours later for the retainers.
Dr. Richard Charmoy
Dr. Richard Charmoy
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1 comment
Dr. David Schleimer
Do you make them yourself? Acrylic and labial bow? or a vacuum formed thermoplastic. If it is a mixed dentition patient, a traditional Hawley retainer makes more sense and allows exfoliation and subsequent eruption of successor teeth. Making a Hawley retainer in a busy ortho practice in a couple of hours is in most cases implausable. Every office is different, but I like to have a Hawley retainer available the moment the braces are removed, so I use sculpted models taken in advance. My 2 cents.
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