What is an Essix Retainer, and How Does it Work?

If you want to maintain the position of your teeth and bite that is fixed with braces or any other dental appliance, you have to choose between different types of retainers. Do you know what an Essix retainer is? Are you aware of the benefits of using this type of retainer?

If not, worry no more. Here in this guide, we will share all the helpful information you need to know about Essix retainers. So, stay tuned and continue reading this guide to discover everything you need to know about an Essix retainer.

What is an Essix Retainer?

A retainer is a dental appliance made of metal, acrylic, plastic, or wires. Among various types of retainers available, the most common ones are the removable ones. An Essix retainer is a removable retainer.

The primary function of an Essix retainer is to protect the results of your braces. Essix retainers are among the removable types of retainers made of transparent materials that offer an “invisible” look.

How Does an Essis Retainer Work?

An orthodontic treatment comprises the following three steps.

  1. The dentist examines your teeth by taking x-rays or using other imaging techniques in the first step. During this diagnostic step, the doctor develops your treatment plan.
  2. In the second step, the dentist gradually shifts your teeth to correct positions using an orthodontic appliance such as braces.
  3. Once the treatment is completed and the teeth get aligned, the dentist will place retainers on your teeth which will help in keeping your teeth in place. These retainers won’t allow the teeth to shift back to their original positions.

Why are Retainers Necessary?

It is said that teeth have memory. Even after being moved to a better position, they still tend to shift back to their original positions if retainers are not used. Hence, retainers are an essential part of this dental drift.

An Essix retainer is made of transparent plastic, which means you have a removable top and bottom set. The plastic fits comfortably on your teeth and hence keeps teeth in place.

For How Long Do You Have to Wear an Essix Retainer?

Once your treatment is completed, you will have to wear Essix retainers all day for the first few months. After that, you have to wear these retainers every night for about one year.

Once your dentist examines your teeth and approves that you can start wearing these retainers every other night, you have to continue doing that for as long as possible.

Essix retainers last for several years, provided you take proper care of them. You might have to get a new set of retainers for nighttime use.

Pros and Cons of Essix Retainers

Having understood what Essix retainers are and how to use them, you might be searching for the pros and cons of these types of retainers. Search no more.

Here are a few key advantages and disadvantages of Essix Retainers.

Pros of Essix Retainers

  • Made of clear and removable plastic that comfortably fits your teeth
  • These retainers are easy to clean
  • Because of the comprehensive retention, these retainers offer better and long-lasting effects when it comes to keeping teeth in place.
  • You can remove these retainers while consuming food which means they do not interfere with your eating and drinking.
  • Essix retainers are available at lower prices compared to other retainers

Cons of Essix Retainers

  • Essix retainers are harder to repair if they break or lose shape. These retainers will have to be replaced because the plastic is difficult to repair. On the contrary, metal retainers are easy to repair.
  • These retainers might warp if exposed to heat.
  • Essix retainers may lose color or get stained over time if not cleaned regularly.
  • You might have to replace these retainers sooner compared to permanent retainers.

Cost of Essix Retainers

If you wonder how much an Essix retainer costs or how much do retainers cost in general, we are here to help you. An Essix retainer is amongst the most affordable types of retainers available. You can buy these types of retainers for as low as $150. However, the price reaches up to $500 depending on the quality of the retainer.

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