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How Much Do Retainers Cost?

By preventing teeth from shifting out of place after orthodontic treatment, retainers play a critical role in protecting your hard work and investment. For most patients, including those at Hess Orthodontics, the initial cost of retainers is included in the overall price of treatment. However, replacements for damaged or lost retainers are usually paid for out of pocket, so it’s still good to get a rough idea of what retainers cost in order to make the right financial decision for your family.

Typically, retainers can cost anywhere from $250 to $600 per set without insurance. The final cost will largely depend on whether you choose a permanent or removable retainer, the specific circumstances of your treatment, and which orthodontic practice provides your treatment. In this article, we’ll break down some of these factors and relative costs. 

If you’d like to learn about the cost of retainers after reading this article, schedule your complimentary consultation today! With our Lifetime Retainer Program, patients pay $800 (plus a small copay per replacement visit) to receive retainers for life.

Permanent Retainer Cost

A permanent retainer (also known as a fixed retainer or bonded retainer) is a wire component that is attached behind the lower front teeth. These retainers are often used alongside a removable retainer to keep the upper and lower teeth in place. While we generally recommend that our patients use a removable retainer when possible, certain cases may be better-suited for the permanent option.

Typically, a permanent or bonded retainer costs somewhere around $250. The cost of initial placement is usually included in the cost of your overall treatment. However, replacements are not included, so it pays to take proper care of your retainer. While permanent retainers are quite durable, they can be damaged if you regularly consume very hard or sticky foods.

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Removable Retainer Cost

A removable retainer (often called a plastic or clear retainer) is a convenient and dependable tool for smile retention. As the name suggests, it can be removed at any time. If they are well maintained, removable retainers can last for up to 3 to 5 years before replacement is necessary. 

Like other types of retainers, the cost will depend on the type or brand of removable retainer, the specific needs of your treatment, and the orthodontist who is providing that treatment. That range can be anywhere from $300 to $600 or more. While your first retainer will likely be included in the initial cost of your treatment, replacement costs can add up quickly, so it’s critical to take great care of your plastic retainer and avoid misplacing it.

Essix Retainer Cost

Essix retainers are a popular option in our office due to their nearly translucent appearance and competitive pricing. Each set includes an upper and lower arch appliance, and they typically fall in the range of $300 to $600.

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Online Retainers

It certainly seems like online retainer options are popping up everywhere these days. Typically, they ask you to use an impression kit to make a mold of your teeth, and then send you retainers made from those impressions.

These online retainers are usually a little cheaper than in-office options, and they can be helpful for those who live in very remote regions. However, there’s no replacement for working with an orthodontist who is deeply familiar with your specific orthodontic issues and can help monitor your situation over time. That’s especially true if you’ve gone some time without wearing a retainer, as your alignment may need to be reassessed.

Find The Right Retainer Option For Your Family at Hess Orthodontics

Overall, there’s not a simple answer to the question “how much do retainers cost?” It depends on many factors, including whether you’re fitted with a permanent retainer or a removable retainer. Generally, the cost will fall into the $250 to $600 range. 

Hess Orthodontics has the expertise and cutting-edge technology that can help guide you to the right retainer solution for your family – all at a cost that works with your budget. In addition to including your initial retainer as part of your overall treatment cost, we’re proud to offer a Lifetime Retainer Program for our patients. For $800, we’ll provide retainers for life. At other practices, a single replacement can run up to $600! Although each new retainer is provided at no additional cost, keep in mind that you will need to provide a copay for the visit, which is about $20 per arch.

If you’d like to learn more about this program or our other retainer options, schedule your complimentary consultation today!

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