Retainers are worn by people to help correct dental problems. Retainers are often worn by people after they have had braces removed. They are also occasionally used to help correct minor overbite problems instead of braces. Retainers are custom made for each person. There are three common types of retainers: permanent, clear and Hawley.
Retainers range in price from $250-$2100, depending on location, dentist, type of retainer and if patients need both a lower and upper retainer or just an upper or a lower retainer. First time retainers cost considerably more than replacement retainers as multiple dentist visits, X-rays and fittings are required for the original retainer to be custom made to fit the patient perfectly. Retainers that are needed after braces tend to be less expensive than those used instead of braces, as the retainer cost is discounted and included in the price of the braces. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the first retainer, but do not cover the cost of replacement retainers. Replacement retainers cost $100-$250. Retainers when not in use should be stored in a plastic case; plastic storage retainers cost $5-$10.
The Average Cost Of Retainers
Average orthodontic retainer costs vary per type of retainer. Average permanent retainer costs are around $1000 for both the upper and lower teeth. Average clear retainer costs are around $200-$500 for both the upper and lower teeth. Average Hawley retainer costs are around $300-$600 for both the upper and lower teeth. Average dental retainer costs vary per location; in the United States, average orthodontic retainer costs are higher in states with a high cost of living and lower in states with a low cost of living.
Types Of Retainers
There are three common types of retainers; the Hawley, clear and permanent. Permanent retainers are usually the most expensive; however, there is no risk of loss with them. Hawley and clear retainers are both removable. Hawley retainers are usually slightly more expensive than clear retainers. Average permanent retainers cost around $1000 for both the upper and lower teeth. Average clear retainer costs are around $200-$500 for both the upper and lower teeth. Average Hawley retainer costs are $300-$600 for the upper and lower teeth. However, all three types of retainers vary greatly in cost depending on location and the dental clinic.
Permanent Retainer Cost
Permanent retainers are also called fixed retainers. Unlike Hawley retainers or clear retainers, the patient cannot remove permanent retainers. Permanent retainer costs are usually more than Hawley retainer costs or clear retainer costs. Average permanent retainer costs are around $1000 for both an upper and lower retainer. However, permanent retainer costs vary per location and clinic, permanent retainers can cost as little as $600 for both the upper and lower teeth or as much as $2100 for both the upper and lower teeth. Permanent retainers can save patients money on orthodontic retainer costs as they do not get lost or broken the way Hawley or clear retainers do; however, permanent retainers are harder to clean and can cause a buildup of tartar or cause gingivitis.
Fixed Retainer Cost
Fixed retainers are also known as permanent retainers. Fixed retainer cost ranges from $300-$1100 for either the lower teeth or the upper teeth. Average fixed retainer costs are $500 for either the lower or upper teeth, or $1000 for both the lower and upper teeth. Fixed retainer costs vary per location and dental clinic. In the United States, states with a low cost of living tend to have cheaper fixed retainer costs than states with a high cost of living do. Fixed retainers usually cost more than removable retainers do; however, they usually save patients money as they do not break or get lost like removable ones do
Hawley Retainer Cost
Hawley retainers are also called wire retainers. Hawley retainers tend to be a bit more expensive than the clear or Essix retainers; however, Hawley retainers are usually more durable and less prone to breakage than clear retainers are. Hawley retainers cost $100-$1500 depending on location, the dental clinic and if the patient requires both an upper and lower retainer or just one. Average Hawley retainers cost $300-$600 for both upper and lower teeth retainers. Hawley retainers are available in a myriad of different colors and patterns; colored or patterned Hawley retainers may cost more than basic Hawley retainers cost.
How Much Do Clear Retainers Cost?
Clear retainers are also known as invisible retainers or Essix retainers. Clear retainers are fairly popular due to their being less noticeable than the other types. Invisible retainers are usually cheaper than Hawley or permanent retainers. However, clear retainers are the easiest of all of them to break and often need replacing. Invisible retainer costs range from $100-$1200; however average cost is around $200-$500 for both the upper and lower teeth. Invisible retainer cost varies per location and dental clinic.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Retainer?
Teeth retainers can easily get lost or broken especially the clear variety. Replacement retainers are not as expensive as first time retainers. Replacement retainers cost $100-$500 for both the upper and lower teeth; however, average retainer replacement cost is around $200-$300 for both the upper and lower teeth. Replacement retainer cost varies per location and dental clinic. Retainer replacement cost is usually not covered by insurance; most insurance plans only cover the initial retainer cost.
Orthodontic insurance coverage varies per company and plan. Most orthodontic insurance coverage covers either all the cost or at least some of the cost of the initial retainer. However, some insurance companies and plans only cover one type of retainer and many insurance companies do not cover replacement retainer costs. Due to the wide variation of coverage within orthodontic companies and plans, patients should check with their insurance company before having any work done.
Retainers After Braces
Retainers are most often worn by people right after they have had braces removed. They are worn after braces to help keep teeth straight and to prevent them from returning to their pre-braces position. In most cases, an orthodontic retainer has to be worn 24 hours a day for several months after braces are removed. The orthodontist determines the type of retainer a patient is required to wear. The cost of retainers is often included in the overall cost of the braces.