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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Do I need retainer mold for the future?

    Hi, my orthodontist gave clear retainers to me a month ago, but she didn't gave me my retainer mold, she explained the model broken when a retainer been made. There is no need to remake a new one, if I lose my retainer I can take a new impression at that time. I need to pay extra $150 each (top or bottom) if they remake a new mold for me. That not included in my original fee. I am not sure if worth to pay extra money to make a new mold, just retainer mould, I quite worry if I lose my retainer in future, I need original molds to make new retainers as my teeth may shift to different position at that time not as good as now just after getting braces off. Should I pay extra money to remake retainer molds now and keep for future? Thanks a lot.
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  • 3


    In 2000 I graduated from the University of Sydney with Honours. I have worked in Country, General Family, Cosmetic Dentistry, Orthodontic and Dental Implant practices, … View Profile

    There are two issues I have with this question and the orthodontist;
    1. You have just paid this orhtodonitst a fortune to straighten your teeth and now they are worried about tasking a $20 impression andpouring up a model for you, seems to be an intersting stance the orthodontist is taking.
    2. The orthodontist is required to have final models of your teeth for records for 7 years in Australia which you have theoretically paid for in your treatment fee's.

    All these issues aside, when ever you have a new retainer made you will need to have a new set of models taken as the retainers age over time and don't hold your teeth in exactly the same position, so don't panic and in about 2 years get a new set of retainers made and you should do this about every 2 years.  If you are worried about the teeth moving then also add a fixed wire to the inside of the top and bottom front teeth to help them be held in place.

  • 1


    Principal Dentist at Darlinghurst Dental, a high quality, affordable practice located in the heart of Darlinghurst. A high emphasis on customer service and impeccable cross … View Profile


    Glad you are happy with your end result and that you want to keep it that way. I would not be concerned with the models being broken as that is often a consequence of the manufacturing process.These models are called the working models and are often modified to allow for a more comfortable fit. As Dr Alford said, the orthodontist should have a final copy of the models anyway. However, these are usually manufactured of a different type of stone, not ideal for moulding of new retainers, more to use as a 3D record of your final alignement.

    Your main concern is that if you lose or break your retainers, that you will need new ones and that your teeth will move. This is correct, IF you don't get new ones made. If you make a new appointment straight away and have moulds taken once they are broken or lost, this is a new record of your teeth, in approximately the same position, before any relapse.

    It will never be exactly the same, even if you take them now. The material distort over time, including your retainer. Taking the mould causes slight movements in your teeth also due to the amount of pressure on them.

    So, relax, wear your retainer as advised and be careful not to lose it or break them. If you do break or lose them, get a new set made straight away.

    I personally would always take a new set of impressions for any retainer, even if you had the originals. There is not usually any extra charge for this. The charge you are talking about now, I imagine, is an additional charge to take moulds or duplicate models that the orthodontist does not feel you need. If you were getting new retainers either way, you would have to pay for them.

    Hope this helps

    Dr Frank Farrelly

    Darlinghurst Dental

    30 Burton St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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