If you ask people how much dental retainers cost, most of them will probably just say “expensive!”. In the past, this would have been true. However, the price of quality dental retainers has been driven down via new technologies. In reality, the price of a replacement retainer can vary hugely depending on the type of retainer and where the retainers are purchased from. At the moment, there are three different types of retainer available on the market.
This type of retainer is also commonly referred to as a ‘wire retainer’. They are made using metal wire and dental acrylic. They are an older model that is somewhat less common these days. However, they do have the advantage of being adjustable, so they may still be prescribed in some cases. They can also be repaired in some cases if they’ve been damaged, unlike other retainer models.
One Hawley retainer costs approximately $175.00 – $325.00
Permanent Fixed Retainer
This type of retainer is a wire that is bonded on the lingual side of the teeth permanently to prevent the teeth from shifting. This is typically done on the lower teeth, but can also be done on the upper set in certain circumstances. This process has to be done by a dentist or orthodontist.
One fixed retainer costs approximately $250.00-$400.00
Essix Clear Retainer Cost
These are the Invisalign type retainers made from 1mm Essix material. They are the more modern of the three retainer types and are therefore much more common. Because of the growing ease of homemade dental impressions, Essix clear retainers can vary massively in price depending on whether or not you decide to go through a dentist or cut out the middle man.
One Clear Retainer (from dentist) $150.00 – $300.00
One Clear Retainer (from SportingSmiles.com ) $65.00
The main factor in how much dental retainers cost is the dentist markup. Dentists with large overheads naturally have a higher markup. Most of the removable retainer types are not made in the dentist’s office, but rather off-site at a dental lab. These labs take an impression and turn it into a retainer.
With the ability to take your own impression, there is really no reason to go through a dentist anymore to get your retainers. This can translate into massive savings, particularly if you often find yourself losing or breaking your retainer. If you’re looking at removing the middle man, Upper + Lower retainers can be purchased from SportingSmiles for less than $100.