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How is a wire dental retainer fitted?

Your orthodontist will fit and affix the wire dental retainer either just before your braces are removed, or soon after. The orthodontist will probably use a thin piece of twisted, flexible wire, cut to fit behind your teeth. The orthodontist will clean and dry the teeth before using dental cement to fix the wire in place.
Dustin S. Burleson, DDS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
A wire dental retainer is fitted in one of two ways, directly or indirectly. When fit directly to the teeth, your dentist or orthodontist customizes the wire dental retainer while you are in the dental chair through directly observing the fit of the wire to your teeth and making adjustments as needed. There is no impression or mold of the teeth required to fit a wire dental retainer directly on the teeth.

Indirect fitting of a wire dental retainer requires an impression or mold of your teeth to be made prior to final placement of the retainer. The mold or impression is used to create a replica of your teeth, which is used to make the wire dental retainer indirectly, while you are not at the dental office, by a laboratory technician.

Following fitting of the retainer, either directly or indirectly, the final wire retainer is attached to your teeth with a dental bonding material and resin, similar to a tooth-colored filling material. The procedure is reversible and the wire dental retainer can be removed without irreversible damage to the teeth. Or, in other words, your tooth surface does not require drilling or anesthesia to place the wire dental retainer and no enamel is removed in the process.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.