This article contains everything you need to know about Vivera retainers.
Your orthodontist may have told you that your teeth could shift back to their previous position or to another direction even after you have finished your Invisalign treatment. Well, there’s nothing to worry about, because that is exactly what Invisalign Vivera retainers are for – to make sure your teeth stay straight and your beautiful smile lasts a lifetime. So what exactly are Vivera retainers? How do you wear them? How long do you need to wear them? More importantly, how much do they cost?
Invisalign clear aligners changed the landscape of orthodontics forever. The clear retainers were game-changers as they addressed every issue associated with traditional braces, from convenience, and comfort, to aesthetics. Not long ago, the same brand that brought invisible plastic aligners to the world introduced a new line of clear retainers for post-treatment orthodontic care. Here is everything you need to know about the Vivera Invisalign retainer.
What are Vivera retainers?
The last set of clear aligners is actually not the end of the Invisalign process. To protect the results of your compliance and patience, you will have to wear retainers during your teeth’s “retention phase”. Wearing the retainers is the last step of the process to prevent your teeth from drifting out of the alignment.
There are actually many different types of retainers for post-clear aligner treatment. Vivera retainers are usually used after Invisalign treatment. These plastic retainers are made with the same premium-grade plastic used (SmartTrack material) as the Invisalign aligners themselves. They are made by Invisalign using the same advanced 3D imaging technology customized and personalized to fit snugly and perfectly to your teeth.
This means you will get the same quality, comfort, convenience, and effectiveness for your teeth’s retention stage. The difference however is that Invisalign removable retainers are a little thicker and more durable; designed to last for years without cracking, breaking, or losing their shape.
As a matter of fact, Invisalign Vivera retainers aren’t only for people who have undergone and completed Invisalign clear aligner treatment. They can also be used by those who have gone through the traditional metal braces method. Basically, these are the only retainers in the market that don’t require patients to put their teeth into a nasty glop and engage with flossers.
Like the aligners, Vivera retainers are sparkling clear and easy to clean. The package comes with multiple back-ups that you can switch with when they stretch, break, or get lost.
What makes Invisalign’s Vivera retainers different?
There are actually many clear retainers in the market used for post teeth straightening treatment, such as Essix retainers and Hawley retainers. Vivera’s clear retainer, however, is the most preferred brand of both Invisalign and traditional braces patients.
Since it uses the same high-quality material as Invisalign aligners, Vivera retainers are durable. As a matter of fact, their clear plastic retainer is 30% stronger than other brands in the market. They are actually lab-tested to last longer than other retainers.
Moreover, it ensures unparalleled comfort as it uses the same state-of-the-art modeling process as the aligners, which means it is custom-fit for your smile. They are smooth and cause little to no irritation to the lips and inside of the mouth. Thanks to the 3D imaging technology that creates a perfect fit.
Also, research shows that orthodontists and dental professionals who have used Vivera retainers for their Invisalign patients are more satisfied than with other retainers.
Subsequently, since the models are in 3D imaging, they are digitally stored. This means patients cans. Re-order a new set of retainers in the future without the additional appointments and cost of impression
Why do you need to wear retainers after the Invisalign treatment?
Your teeth spent years and years sitting in incorrect positions, facing wrong directions; it will take time and constant pressure to “move them”. This is why orthodontic treatment like Invisalign will take time. But even after clear aligners correct your teeth’s positions and alignment, there is a chance they can move back out of alignment shortly after the treatment. This is called the retention phase, and this is what retainers are designed and used for – to keep your teeth from shifting back.
Retainers are usually worn for the first six months to 12 months after the treatment. In some cases, the retainers are worn full-time, before you can switch back to wearing them a few nights a week. Some people may need to wear the nightly retainers for life to prevent any untoward tendencies of teeth shifting over time and prevent gaps from appearing between teeth.
When should I wear the retainers?
You will have to wear the retainers after your Invisalign treatment. As said earlier, without it, there is a high risk of your teeth shifting back out of alignment, which can affect the results of your treatment. This could require another round of orthodontic treatment, which is a waste of your time and money.
The good news is, that Vivera retainers are extremely convenient and comfortable to wear. Nightly wear will become part of your routine. In most cases, they are only worn for the first 6 to 12 months following the Invisalign treatment.
Vivera retainer set comes with 4 sets of retainers, for both top and bottom, (that is a total of 8 retainers). This means you have enough backup should you break, stretch, or lose them.
Invisalign retainers cost
As with the clear aligners, Vivera retainer’s cost can vary. The usual price range is $600 to $1,200 for the whole set. Thus, though a little expensive, you are basically still paying for four pairs of retainers. This is a great deal as some brands only provide a single set of retainers.
Moreover, Invisalign made sure re-stocking and replacement of Vivera retainers will be easy for all their patients. Your orthodontist keeps the digital records of your 3D image. He/she can simply put a new order into Invisalign, and the latter can manufacture your new set of retainers in no time. No scheduling for appointments, or making putty molds and complicated bonds is needed. Your new set of retainers will be mailed straight to your doorsteps.
Vivera versus other types of retainers
There are actually three main categories of retainers available in the market right now; the clear plastic retainers (which Vivera falls into), Hawley, and permanent retainers. Each type has its own set of pros and cons and their appropriate uses.
Another popular brand of clear retainer is the Essix. Made by a different company, Essix retainers are designed to serve the same purpose as Vivera – to protect the gains of your orthodontic treatment. Thus, they look similar to clear aligners as well. However, Essix doesn’t use the same patented technology as Vivera. Rather, they are made with thinner plastics.
- Removable, making cleaning both the retainers and your teeth easy
- Will not impact speech as compared to other types of retainers
- Virtually invisible
- Thin plastic, has the potential to warp which means you may need replacement
- Cannot be adjusted
- Can get stained over time
Hawley retainers are made up of a combination of metal wire and acrylic or plastic. Like Vivera and Essix, Hawley retainers are removable. The metal wire keeps your teeth in place by running along the teeth, while the acrylic or plastic either sits on the side of your teeth or on the roof of your mouth.
- Removable, making cleaning both the retainers and your teeth easy
- Less likely to stain than clear plastic retainers
- Sturdy and hardwearing, more durable than clear plastic retainers
- More visible than clear plastic retainers
- More likely to affect speech
A permanent retainer is exactly what its name is, it is meant to be permanent. This retainer is usually made of a metal wire bonded to the inside of the teeth where it’s not visible. They are used when an orthodontist believes the teeth have a high risk of shifting back to their previous positions, for young patients, or for patients who are less likely to comply with wearing removable retainers.
- Highly durable
- Affordable to replace if broken
- Since bonded to the teeth, patient’s compliance is guaranteed
- Dental hygiene may become an issue (wires and bonding agent can make cleaning teeth tricky)
- Risk of teeth shifting slightly (since the metal wire is flexible)
Though wearing the retainers is part of the Invisalign treatment plan, the retainers are sold separately. And due to the thicker material used, they cost slightly higher than the clear aligner trays. As with the clear aligners, prices for the clear retainers vary due to different factors, but the cost for four sets of retainers ranges from $400 to $1,000.
Here is a quick comparison of cost of different types of retainers in the market:
- Vivera – $400 – $1,000 (for four sets of retainers – Custom fit, virtually invisible, made of durable and long-lasting material
- Essix – $50 – $200 (per set) – Custom-fit, easy to clean, clear and virtually invisible, durable
- Hawley – $150 – $300 (per set) – Affordable, durable, easy to clean, easy to order online
- Permanent – $150 – $500 (each) – Hidden behind the teeth, which makes it almost invisible, impossible to lose since it is bonded to the teeth, can last for years
How to order Vivera Retainers?
Getting the retainers is the same as the process of getting the clear aligners. Your Invisalign orthodontist will do it for you. After your Invisalign treatment, your teeth will be scanned to get the perfect impression of your aligned teeth. The results will be sent and stored in Invisalign’s database. Invisalign will then make your retainers and send the whole four sets straight to your doorsteps or pick them up from your orthodontist.
Should you break or lose your retainers, you can simply notify your orthodontist to process the order for you.
How long do Invisalign’s Vivera retainers last?
As said earlier, Invisalign’s retainers are 30% thicker than their clear aligners. This makes the retainers more durable. If well-cared for, the retainers can last for several years. Invisalign said you can expect the retainers to last 9 to 10 years. Obviously, if you want your retainers to last that long, make sure you clean and store them properly.
If your retainer feels loose, breaks, or gets misshapen, you can switch to the next set.
How to clean your retainers
Speaking of taking care and cleaning of retainers, Vivera retainers are super easy to clean and maintain. To clean them, brush gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush and dish soap or warm water. Note, warm water, and not hot or boiling water. Also, never use toothpaste for your retainers. Toothpaste is abrasive and can damage and scratch your clear retainers.
For a thorough cleanse, you can also soak your retainers in a glass of mouthwash or Invisalign cleaning crystals.
When not in use, make sure to store your retainers in their dedicated case to prevent damage or getting lost.
When should I replace my retainers?
Invisalign’s retainer package comes with a series of four sets (top and bottom) aligners, which is a total of eight retainers. Each set is designed to last for years if properly cared for.
Should you break or lose all four sets, you can notify your orthodontist and put an order to Invisalign for you.
Should you go to a different orthodontist, say you are currently living in a different city or state from your Invisalign orthodontist, your new orthodontist will take new scans of your mouth to order new sets of Vivera retainers.
Retainers are an integral part of the teeth straightening procedure; it is used to ensure your orthodontic treatment will not relapse.
Manufactured with the same technology and patented material as their clear aligners, Invisalign retainers are specifically designed for comfort and convenience.
Whether you have had Invisalign treatment to straighten your teeth and fix your bite, or you had traditional braces to address more complex malocclusions, ask your orthodontist about the Vivera retainers if they are available for you.