What Are Dental Retainers?

What Are Dental Retainers?

Dental retainer is the means of special correction treatment that help achieve the final result of the orthodontic treatment. Let us see why it is necessary and why braces are not enough. We all know that a tooth has a crown and a root. We can see the crown, but we normally cannot see the root if it is not baring because of some disease. The jaw is the bone, so naturally the tooth root is surrounded by the bone tissue. But the tooth has no hard fixation on it. There is a little space between the tooth and the bone, the so-called periodontal hole. It contains the ligaments that hold the tooth on its place, and also nerves and vessels that provide it with nutritive elements.

To understand the necessity of retaining systems, we should also understand how the mechanism of the teeth straightening performs. The teeth are moving under the pressure of the brace system. In the direction where the root is moved, the gradual bone rarefaction occurs. The place is getting free for the tooth to stand. And, in its turn, on the place where it is moved from, the new bone tissue grows. This process is performing constantly during the entire process of the orthodontic treatment.

The ligaments, whose function is to hold the tooth, get stretched in this process. But they are elastic and constantly try to come back to their usual positions. The brace system does not let them do it. When it is removed, nothing holds them anymore and they start trying to come back again, because the bone tissue is not restored yet. The process of its formation is not fast. It takes months and even years sometimes. The retainers after braces serve as a holding force that keeps teeth on the places where braces put them, until the new bone tissue is formed. That is why neglecting of the post-braces retention period may completely spoil its result and it will not simply worth all the discomfort of braces tolerated by the patient.

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