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Orthodontics/repair retainer

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Question
my son cracked his retainer (made of plastic) is there some strong safe glue that can be used to repair it? If yes, would you suggest any special guidance/tips to successfully repair it.

Answer

Hi David,


What I write here are only my opinions based on very limited information. My comments should not be viewed as any form of diagnosis, definitive or otherwise,  or any form of  treatment recommendation.  Indeed, in the ultimate analysis all final decisions, particularly clinical ones, should  only be made by qualified doctors who have had a chance to see you in person and who have had an opportunity to take and analyze proper diagnostic records.

Okay… having said  that…  your  questions focused on your son's cracked ( vacuum formed?? ) plastic retainer.  You  wrote:

"    my son cracked his retainer (made of plastic) is there some strong safe glue that can be used to repair it? If yes, would you suggest any special guidance/tips to successfully repair it.  "


David, there are several types of "plastic retainers" . One style is the clear plastic  vacuum formed retainer which looks much like a clear " Invisalign Brand" brand aligner appliance. Another popular type of plastic retainer is the " Hawley Style" which incorporates a metal wire bow.

The Hawley style can be more readily repaired, whereas the vacuum formed, once cracked, is a bit more problematic. I would not recommend any homestyle remedies because the adhesives could contain components which may cause allergic reactions in the mouth. I would recommend that regardless of which style you have, that you return to your Orthodontist or Dentist and ask him/her if the appliance can be sent to a dental laboratory for repair. Many dental offices actually fabricate the appliances in the office and perhaps the broken retainer you have can be repaired in house.

In broad overview, when you think of how much time and effort ( and money )went into actual Orthodontic treatment, then the cost of a retainer begins to pale in significance. Retainers may look simple, but often they are not. Immediately following treatment, retainer coverage of the second molars is sometimes not possible if they have not yet fully erupted. In such cases, a future follow up full coverage retainer may be needed.

Check with your Dental office and get a dental professional to personally repair your cracked retainer or to have it sent out to professional dental lab for repair or replacement. You'll look back in future years and be glad you did David. This was a very significant and interesting question. I am glad you wrote.


Paul Supan, DDS, MA, MPH
Board Certified Orthodontist

Specialist in Orthodontics
Specialist in Dental Public Health
http://www.braces.com
http://www.leesburgbraces.com

Please allow a week for a reply. I am in full time Private Practice, lecture on occasion, and involved in many volunteer activities. I am therefore not always able to respond to questions straight away. Your understanding is appreciated.  

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Paul Supan, DDS, MA, MPH

Expertise

First may I say please set your questions to Public so other readers can benefit from the response. Also, if you look at my comprehensive answers, they are not short 1 or 2 paragraph quickie replies that anyone can type out in < 5 minutes. Instead I often will ask other colleagues in other specialties for their advice in order to provide you the questioner with a more interdisciplinary perspective. This all takes time. I ask for readers to therefore allow 5-7 days. You will be rewarded with a very detailed response.

Because of the nature of Orthodontic questions, any pictures of the teeth and X-ray images would be very helpful. If you write to me and explain that you have crooked overlapping front teeth can be interpreted in many many ways, and my goal is to provide a specific response that meets your needs.

I hold double specialty credentials. I am Board Certified in Orthodontics and Board Eligible in Dental Public Health. I welcome questions regarding Braces, Invisible Braces, & Invisalign, as well as issues involving combination Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics alone sometimes is not enough to achieve that perfect smile. Gingival (gum) re-contouring, tooth reshaping, bonding and other services are sometimes needed. I also have substantial experience in the areas of Infection Control and Sterilization in the Dental Environment. My personal websites braces.com and Leesburgbraces.com are non-commercial for information purposes only and may provide you with some background to more precisely frame your question for allexperts.com.

Please allow a week for a reply. I am in full time Private Practice, lecture on occasion, and am involved in many volunteer activities. I am therefore not always able to respond to questions straight away. Your understanding is appreciated.

Experience

Board Certified Orthodontist (ABO Diplomate) with over 25 years of Private Practice experience. Second Specialty Certificate in Dental Public Health with research experience at NIH, and Epidemiology Training & Research at Harvard, NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Postgraduate Masters degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Education.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Academy of General Dentistry, College of Diplomates of the ABO, OSAP - Office Sterilization & Asepsis Procedures Organization, Others

Publications
Available upon Request.

Education/Credentials
BS College of William & Mary, DDS Medical College of Virginia, Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree Harvard School of Public Health. Dental Public Health Specialty Certificate from NIH. Orthodontic Specialty Certificate from University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center. USPHS clinical research experience at NIH, and Epidemiology Training & Research at Harvard, NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control. Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD), and Fully Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. Board Eligible in Dental Public Health. Visiting Adjunct Associate Professor at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, Nashville, Tennessee.

Awards and Honors
Available upon Request Please see my personal websites braces.com and Leesburgbraces.com for further personal background.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon Request

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