Exact Answer: 5 Years To 10 Years
There is no fixed period for how long retainers can last. The reason behind that is that every case is different. Some patients might need retainers for a longer duration of time to get the best-expected results.
While on the other hand, some might need to have retainers only for a couple of years to get the best-expected results. In other words, it can be said that the period it takes for retainers to last depends upon several different factors.
How Long Do Retainers Last?
|Type of retainers||Time|
|Bonded plastic retainers||15 years to 30 years|
|Hawley wire retainers||3 years to 15 years|
|Removable clear plastic retainers||6 months to 3 years|
Some of the major factors which determine the time for how long retainers last could be the dental condition of the person who is getting retainers, care of the retainers, proper measures taken by the person for retainers, and other such factors.
But apart from all the several different factors, there is one most important factor which plays a vital role in determining the time for how long retainers would last and must be considered while calculating the time for the life expectancy of retainers. That major time determining factor is the type of retainers.
There are majorly three types of retainers that are usually used in the current times. The three types of retainers are the removable Hawley wire retainers, removable clear plastic retainers, and lastly the bonded permanent retainers.
Depending upon what type of retainers the person has got, the time for how long they would last depends.
On average, bonded plastic retainers can last from about a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years. But depending upon the dental condition of the person, the time for how long the bonded permanent retainers generally would last can be increased or decreased.
In most general cases, the Hawley wire retainers generally last from about a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 15 years.
Lastly, the removable clear plastic retainers generally last for about a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 3 years.
Why Do Retainers Last That Long?
As suggested by the name, bonded permanent retainers last for the longest duration of time as compared to the other two types of retainers, which are Hawley wire retainers, and removable clear plastic retainers. While on the other hand, clear plastic retainers are the ones that last for the shortest duration of time.
In most cases, bonded permanent retainers can last for decades. Though as mentioned in their names, these retainers can be completely permanent as well. In other words, it can be said that the bonded permanent retainers can last for an indefinite duration of time, but it happens only in very rare cases.
Secondly, the Hawley wire retainers are applied in the form of wires. The Hawley wire retainers are the most common type of retainers that are used by dentists. These retainers have multiple advantages.
Some of the major advantages of the Hawley wire retainers are that they can be lightened or repaired, and they can be customized as well using different colors and signs. On the other hand, the Hawley wire retainers have certain disadvantages as well.
Some of the disadvantages of the Hawley wire retainers are that they cost a lot during replacement, they only allow slight movement of teeth, and are completely visible as wires all over the teeth.
The Hawley wire retainers last for a shorter duration as compared to the bonded permanent retainers, but for a longer duration of time as compared to the removable clear plastic retainers.
Lastly, the removable clear plastic is a newly introduced technique and is gaining popularity in the current times. The removable clear plastic retainers are the ones that last for the least amount of time.
Apart from the type of retainers, proper measures of the retainers are taken and good oral hygiene is maintained then the retainers last for a longer duration of time.
The best measure that can be taken for the retainers is to remove them while eating food. If not followed then food particles can get stuck on the retainers.