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Article: Volume 49 Number 6 Page 511 - June 2022

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  Dental Update 501: 511-514

Orthodontics:  Vacuum-formed versus Fixed Orthodontic Retainers

CPD:  CPD  0:24   (closes in 30 days)

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Abstract: At present, limited guidance is available on what retentive intervention provides the best post-orthodontic stability in the region of most concern to our patients: the labial segments. This article brings together the most recent research to draw a conclusion on which of the most common retentive devices would be considered the current best practice. While studies show some relapse is likely regardless of the clinician’s choice of retention, the studies suggest that the use of a bonded retainer offers greater stability in the long term in the mandible. The data collected for the maxillary arch are of a shorter duration, as such, there is insufficient evidence to promote one method over the other.

Clinical relevance: Dental practitioners providing orthodontic treatment need to know the best retention options available to ensure long term stability following treatment, maintaining patient satisfaction.

Author notes: Cathal Heavey, BDS, MFDS RCSEd, MSc Restorative Dentistry, General Dental Practitioner, Sandycove Dental Care, County Dublin, Ireland email:

Objective: To provide knowledge on the best retention options available to ensure long term stability following orthodontic treatment.

S4S Dental_June22