Stabilizing the teeth after adjustment with lingual retainers

Teeth often tend to shift or slip back again after the appliances have been removed. Therefore, although removal of the appliances marks the end of adjustment, it does not mark the end of treatment. Why? The answer is the danger of what we call a “relapse”. What is that? A relapse happens when the teeth shift, moving again into undesired positions. Relapses can be caused by spurts of growth (which can happen up to the age of 25), wisdom teeth erupting or degenerative processes such as periodontitis.

So in order to avoid a relapse, we must stabilize the new position of the teeth. Therefore what we call “lingual retainers” are put in place immediately after removal of the appliances. Lingual retainers consist of a thin wire attached to the inside of the teeth. This retaining wire is completely invisible and the tongue adapts quickly to this very delicate appliance.

I prefer to make these retainers out of special stainless steel wire. Gold can be used if desired. We mold the retainer onto the cast of the teeth. This method ensures the utmost in stability and comfort.

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