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Retainer Replacement: How Much Is It and When Do You Need It?

Contributors:  

You've lost or broken your retainer. Now what? You'll need to get a new one, but how much does retainer replacement cost? And where do you get your new retainer?

how much is a new retainer
Need a new retainer?

Come along as we take you through all the odds and ends of replacing retainers, including:

  • New retainer costs
  • Where to get a new retainer
  • Buying retainers online
  • …and more!

Once you've read this article, you'll have all the information you need to buy the best replacement retainer for you.

When should I get a replacement retainer?

If you lose or break your retainer, you should make sure to order a new one as soon as possible. This is important because after orthodontic treatment, your teeth will continue to move.

Oftentimes they try to get back to their original position. The longer you put off getting a new retainer, the greater the risk you'll end up with crooked teeth again.

Aside from losing or breaking a retainer, some types of retainers require you to change them every few months or every couple of years. Hawley retainers can go longer than clear plastic retainers before needing to replaced—around 5 to 8 years. And permanent retainers can last 20 years — making it the longest-lasting — or more before they break or become unglued.

Here are some signs that you may need to replace your retainer if your retainer:

  • Shows visible signs of wear, like holes or cracking
  • Is broken
  • Has a buildup of plaque or is discolored (this can be avoided with proper retainer cleaning)
  • Doesn't fit
  • Gets lost

Can I get my replacement retainer from a different orthodontist?

We get it—the orthodontist you had when you had braces as a teenager is long gone from your life. It's usually fine to see a new orthodontist. They might be able to request your records from your previous orthodontist, but they also may ask you to come in for new models of your teeth.

If you get the OK from your orthodontist, it's also fine to get your retainers online, as long as you use a reputable company.

how much does it cost to get a new retainer
Get a replacement retainer for teeth

How to get a new retainer

The process for replacing retainers varies depending on the kind of retainer you have and who your orthodontist is. Generally, however, to get a replacement retainer, your orthodontist will need a model of your teeth to work from.

This can be made with the traditional molding putty, or with 3D scans, which tend to be more accurate. These models of your teeth will then be sent to a lab where your actual retainer will be made.

You may not always have to have a new model of your teeth made if you need a replacement retainer. If your orthodontist or dental lab has the records of your teeth stored in their system, and if your teeth haven't shifted out of position, they'll be able to make your new retainers without you making a physical trip to the office.

There are also a growing number of online options for retainer replacement. You can get clear plastic retainers and Hawley retainers online. This process usually involves ordering a tooth impression kit online, making the models of your teeth at home, and sending them back into the company.

They will then use your models to craft your replacement retainers in the lab and send them back to you. Many people like this option because it doesn't require them to leave their home, while others prefer direct contact with their orthodontist, or may find it difficult to make their own impressions at home.

If you have a permanent retainer, then you'll need to get your retainer replaced or fixed in office. Don't try to fix your permanent retainer at home!

In the video below, Doctor Ty summarizes the process for getting a new retainer from your orthodontist:

So, why do you need to to wear retainers in the first place? Given a chance, your teeth will start to shift after your braces are removed or after you complete your Invisalign treatment. The only way to guarantee a perfect smile is to wear your retainers. Retainers will only work if you wear them — and that’s why we’re going to outline exactly how to wear retainers. Along the way, we’ll make sure that no question goes unanswered. To learn more about Retainers, Braces, or Invisalign check out the following articles on our website: Adult Retainers: Should I Wear A Retainer As An Adult? https://yourazbraces.com/adult-braces/adult-retainer/#retainer-type How To Wear Retainers: Wear & Care Instructions for Clear Retainers: https://yourazbraces.com/how-to-wear-retainers/ How Do Braces Work: https://yourazbraces.com/how-do-braces-work/ A Guide To The Cost of Braces & Invisalign: https://yourazbraces.com/the-cost-of-braces-and-invisalign/ Invisalign Vs. Braces https://yourazbraces.com/braces-for-kids/invisalign-vs-braces/ Located in Arizona & thinking about getting started with braces or Invisalign? Call us at (480) 361-4600 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation! #Retainers #PremierOrthodontics #Invisalign #Braces

How much does a new retainer cost?

The cost of replacement retainers will vary depending on the kind of retainer you get and where you get it. Let's have a look at some of the common types of retainers and the cost of replacing them.

Clear plastic retainer replacement cost

The costs for replacing clear plastic retainers can vary greatly. For a set, you can pay anywhere from $150 to $800. To narrow down the price range, it helps to take a look at specific brands, like Invisalign (Vivera) or Essix retainers.

Invisalign retainer replacement cost

There is no fixed price for Vivera retainers (Invisalign retainers), but you can purchase them in sets of four, which helps bring the price down a bit. For a set of four Vivera retainers, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $1,000. These are some of the most affordable retainers available, and they also tend to be quite durable.

Essix retainer replacement cost

Essix retainers are the original clear plastic retainer and these can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per set if you get them from the dentist. If you order them online, the cost can go down quite a bit because you're cutting out the middleman.

If you're interested in ordering replacement Essix retainers online, make sure to choose a reputable service like Sporting Smiles. With Sporting Smiles, professionally trained technicians custom craft your retainers from quality materials.

You can save even more on Sporting Smile retainers by using promo code SMILE10 at checkout to get 10% off your order. Get yours now by clicking the button below:

Hawley retainer replacement cost

Hawley retainers are often the best bang for your buck, although they aren't the most aesthetic option because they have a metal bar that goes across the front of your teeth. However, they are the most durable kind of retainer and they're easy to clean. They're also quite affordable, ranging from $150 to $300.

Have a look at the table below for a summary of the different retainer costs and lifespan estimates:

Type of retainer Material Permanent or removable? Price range Lasts for:
Permanent (bonded) Wire fixed behind teeth Permanent $250-500 Up to 20 years
Hawley (metal) Wire and plastic Removable $150-300 5 - 10 years
Essix (clear) Clear plastic Removable $100-250 6 months - 3 years
Vivera (Invisalign) Clear plastic Removable $400-1000 (price for a set of 4 1 - 5 years

I lost my retainer and can't afford a new one

Even the most affordable retainers can still take a chunk out of your budget, and you might be tempted to put off replacing your retainer to avoid the extra cost. It's important to not put off replacing your retainer because the longer you do, the more your teeth will shift out of place.

You'll also need to get new molds made of your teeth, which could make the price of your replacement retainers go up. So how can you find affordable retainer replacement? Let's find out!

Cheap retainer replacement

The cheapest retainer replacement will be the online method. There are many companies offering affordable retainer replacement at a much lower cost than you would find at the dentist. In many cases, that doesn't mean that your online retainers are of inferior quality; it's just that because these online companies cut out the middleman and you make your own teeth molds at home, they're able to keep costs down.

Can I buy retainers online?

You can buy retainers online. In fact, buying retainers online—new or replacement—is becoming more popular because they are high quality and the process is convenient and affordable. You can get most types of retainers online, including Invisalign, Essix, and Hawley retainers. You can't get permanent retainers online because your dentist or orthodontist needs to be present to fix them permanently to your teeth.

Essix retainer online

replacement retainer cost
Buy retainers online

If you don't want to, can't get to a dentist, or you're interested in saving money, you can use a variety of online services to get Essix retainers online. These companies will send you an impression kit that you use to make molds of your teeth at home.

Once you've made your molds, you'll send them off to a dental lab. The lab will create your retainers and then they'll send them back to you in the mail.

This is a great option for many people, but not everyone; in some cases, you may have to go see your orthodontist or dentist in person to get a new retainer, especially if your teeth have shifted a lot.

One company that offers affordable and quality Essix retainers online is Sporting Smiles. They make it easy—just order your impression kit online, make your impressions, and then send them into the lab where professionally trained lab technicians will custom-make your Essix retainers.

Sporting Smiles also offers various package options:

  • Essix Plus, Set of 2: $130
  • Essix Plus, Single retainer: $90
  • Essix Standard, Set of 2: $110
  • Essix Standard, Single retainer: $85

If you'd like to get your custom retainers from Sporting Smiles, click on the button below to get started and use code SMILE10 to save an extra 10%.

Hawley retainer online

If you want to purchase your Hawley retainer online, you'll typically pay between $150–$300.

The general steps you'll need to go through to get your Hawley retainer are as follows:

  • Make sure that the Hawley retainer is most suitable for your needs. These retainers are typically used to hold teeth in place that are already straightened—they aren't used to straighten teeth.
  • Order your impression kit to make your teeth molds at home.
  • Take your teeth impressions per kit instructions.
  • Receive your replacement Hawley retainer in the mail.

Conclusion

invisalign retainer replacement
Get new retainers pnline

At some point in your life, you'll probably need to replace your retainers. Some retainers last longer than others—permanent retainers can last 20 years, whereas clear plastic retainers may need to be replaced every couple of years. Some retainers need to be replaced every 6 months.

No matter what type of retainer you have, it's important to replace your retainers if they are broken, lost, or simply worn out. That's because your teeth will begin to move out of alignment, and you may even need to get braces again.

To replace your retainer, you can visit your orthodontist or you can order them online through a service like Sporting Smiles. Sporting Smiles makes it hassle-free to replace your retainers.

It's also one of the most affordable ways to get new retainers because you make your own tooth molds at home, cutting out the service fees of the middleman. If you'd like to order affordable, quality, clear Essix retainers online, you can get started by clicking the button below.

Use code SMILE10 to get 10% off your order.

FAQs

How much is a replacement retainer?

The cost of replacement retainers will depend on the type of retainer you get and whether you get it in-office or online. Invisalign retainers can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000. Essix retainers generally cost between $50 and $200, and Hawley replacement retainers cost between $150 and $300 to replace.

Can you buy retainers online?

There are plenty of online services that create quality and affordable retainers, including Hawley and Essix retainers. To order a retainer online, you first order an impression kit. Then you can make molds of your teeth at home and send these back to the company, and they custom-make your retainers in a dental lab. Once they're finished, they'll send your retainers back to you directly at home.

How often should I get a new retainer?

The frequency with which you should replace your retainer depends on the kind of retainer. Some require you to change them every few months. Others, like permanent retainers, can last 20 years. You should also replace your retainers if they show signs of severe wear and tear, discoloration, or if they break or crack.

Contributors:
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen on LinkedinNatalie Asmussen on Website
Natalie used to work as a Community Health Worker and Health Insurance Navigator. She continues to follow her passion for connecting people with the healthcare they need by writing informative content about dentistry and medicine.
Sources
European Journal of Orthodontics: Survival Analysis of Orthodontic Retainers. Consulted 23rd May 2021.