The Hawley Model
Dr. Charles Hawley invented the Hawley retainer in 1908. This older model relies on wires attached to the anterior teeth for proper placement. If you have one of these appliances, you will notice that it is composed of wires that are anchored into an acrylic base. Despite its age, the Hawley design remains effective at preserving the alignment of the teeth. While it was hugely popular for much of the twentieth century, it does have some disadvantages. For proper placement, you need to push the base of the retainer up against the palate. Unfortunately, doing so can make it difficult for some wearers to talk when they have the retainer in.
The Essix Model
An Essix retainer is the newer style of the two. It is made from a clear 1-mm EVA (vinyl) sheet material. The material is formed over a positive dental stone impression of your teeth. These retainers are not as costly as the Hawley and are much more comfortable to wear on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, their popularity has eclipsed the older Hawley style. The majority of today’s modern labs vacuum-form the retainers they produce. At SportingSmiles, we thermo-form them to provide you with superior tautness and the most accurate retainer based on your dental needs.
The retainers are made from the same material as Invisalign even though they are not designed to move your teeth. Our team custom-tailors them for you to keep your teeth in their current position as indicated by your orthodontist. Essix has several advantages. They are clear, less expensive, less noticeable, much more comfortable. They also make it a lot easier to speak when you are wearing them.