We all remember the old wire retainers of our teenage years, but we have come a long way since then! Those retainers would tend to bend and ultimately did not offer the best retention, leading ultimately to relapse.
Now we offer clear retainers, which cover all of the teeth and are more retentive BUT not all are made equal!
The gold standard of retainers are the Invisalign Vivera™ retainers. The material that is used to make these is patented and extremely durable and strong. Some patients even wear these as occlusal night guards to help prevent wear from clenching and grinding! We use a 3D scanner to scan your mouth (so none of those yucky impressions) and send the information to the Invisalign lab where they fabricate your retainers.
Another type of retainer is called the Essix retainer. These retainers are made by a dental lab we work with. The difference between these and the Invisalign retainers is the type of the material and how the retainers are manufactured. The material used for these types of retainers is thinner than the Invisalign material and it is weaker and thus not as retentive. It is also more prone to cracking and wear than the Invisalign retainers. (Ask our hygienist Ashley, she cracked through one in a few months of wear!)
So if you are done with your orthodontic treatment and looking to have retainers made, we recommend going with the Vivera™ retainers, they last longer, are more retentive and durable!