Teeth Retainer Cost: How Much Do Retainers Cost?

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After wearing braces, they help prevent teeth from moving back to their original positions. There are different types of retainers like Essix, Hawley, Clear Retainer, and bonded retainers that are custom-made during your treatment.

Retainers are designed to fit your oral structures as close as possible. 

The cost of retainers varies from $150 to $1200, depending on which option is best for you.

However, there are factors you need to consider to understand how much retainer costs. Retainers come in numerous types, all of which have different costs. 

How Much Do Retainers Cost?

The cost of retainers varies from around $150-$1200 and is dependent upon the following three factors:

Type of Retainer

The type of retainer impacts the cost. A set of new retainers will always cost more than a replacement, with removable options like Essix and Hawley typically ranging from $100 to $300 depending on the specific retainer.

On the other hand, permanent bonded retainers placed on just the lower front teeth generally cost between $200 to $500. 

Clear plastic retainers are the most affordable at around $100 to $250. Retainer types made with both plastic and metal materials usually last longer but have a higher initial fee that is nearly half the price of overall braces treatment.

For instance, popular brands like Vivera clear plastic retainers often are priced around $400 to $1200 for a full set. Your orthodontist will help you choose the best retainer based on your case and budget.

Dentist and Location

Another factor influencing the fee is the dentist from whom you obtain the retainer.

An orthodontist located in an expensive large city may charge higher prices than one in a rural area. But it’s best to get a retainer from the orthodontist who handled your case. 

Extra Features or Custom Work

Basic retainers correcting tooth alignment tend to cost around $150-300 on average. However, customized options adding extra design or material can increase the retainer costs.

It is important to note that insurance plans frequently do not cover extra custom work in retainers.

The Different Types Of Retainers

Several different types of retainers help keep teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. They are classified as removable or permanent.

Essix retainer

An Essix retainer is a clear plastic retainer that fits over your teeth. It is similar to aligners used in Invisalign treatment. It fits over your upper and lower teeth.

Essix retainer cost

Essix retainers are removable orthodontic retainers that typically cost less than other types initially. 

They are very comfortable and not noticeable like traditional braces. However, Essix retainers can become stained over time if you don’t clean them properly.

You need to carefully clean them with a toothbrush or dental retainer cleaner to keep them clean.  

Hawley retainer

A Hawley retainer has a wire that goes around the front teeth. It also has a plastic part that fits in your mouth. Like Essix retainers, Hawley retainers are removable.

They work to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their original positions. The wire part of the Hawley retainer may feel awkward at first wear. 

It is very important to clean a Hawley Retainer around the metal wire daily with toothpaste to stop bacteria from building up. Hawley retainers often last longer than Essix but may cost more depending on your dental insurance coverage.

Permanent bonded retainer

A permanent bonded retainer is glued behind your bottom teeth to keep them in place. It stays in your mouth at all times, so you don’t need to worry about misplacing it.

Bonded retainers prevent movement of your six lower front teeth. However, it can be difficult to floss between the teeth with the wire. You need special flosses or brushes to thoroughly clean under the wire. 

The benefit is that bonded retainers will not get lost or damaged in the long term like removable plastic or wire retainers. However, eating crunchy or sticky foods may potentially damage the glue or bonded wire over many years.

Budgeting for Teeth Retainers

Retainers are an important part of keeping teeth aligned after braces treatment. However, retainers can also present additional costs.

You can cover the cost of retainers with a good financial plan in place. The following tips can help you access quality retainers while working within your budget.

Insurance Coverage and Financing Options

 When ready for a retainer, be sure to check with your insurance provider. This is because dental insurance may cover a significant portion of the retainer cost. Sometimes, insurance coverage for retainers is usually included in the cost.

Dental insurance retainer

In some cases, dental insurance may also cover clear aligner retainers. Without insurance, costs range from several hundred to a few thousand dollars. 

In addition to dental insurance, orthodontists offer payment plans that allow you to affordably pay in installments over 6 to 12 months. This helps reduce the upfront retainer fees. Ask your orthodontist about any flexible financing options for retainers.

 Tips for Affordably Accessing Quality Retainers

 Wear your retainer as directed to help it last longer. This delays replacements that commonly range from $100 to $250. It is always best to consult your orthodontist to ask them about which retainer type best suits your case and budget. 

Also, consider comparing prices between orthodontists and dental providers—some offer similar quality retainers at reduced costs. To get the best deal for your budget, consider having a financial plan that includes retainer expenses as part of your braces treatment costs

How To Choose The Best Retainer

Consulting with Orthodontic Professionals

When deciding on retainers, it’s important to speak with your orthodontist to get their expertise.

They can discuss the various retainer types like Hawley, Essix, and permanent retainers. Based on your unique teeth and treatment, your orthodontist will recommend which options may work best. 

In the discussion, be sure to clarify any questions you have about properly wearing, cleaning, and maintaining your retainer. Asking about factors such as how long you need to wear a retainer will also help you make an informed choice.

Evaluating Personal Needs and Lifestyle

Your individual needs and daily activities are important to consider when choosing a retainer. Removable retainers allow for eating but carry risks of loss or damage.

Both retainers

Whereas, permanent retainers cannot be lost but may prove harder to clean thoroughly.

Think about whether you will wear the retainers regularly as instructed and properly care for them. This can help prevent relapse by keeping your teeth from shifting out of place.

Weighing the Cost Against the Value of Retainers

Retainer costs depend on the type recommended as well as your dental insurance coverage. As a general workup, retainers cost between 300-5000$, though insurance may cover part of these expenses.

Remember, failure to wear a retainer means your teeth may shift positions. This means a loss of the investment you made with your braces treatment. 


Retainers help keep your teeth in place after orthodontic treatment.  Without regularly wearing your retainer as prescribed, teeth can gradually move out of place over time.

Depending on the type, removable retainers are often worn for at least one year, while fixed bonded retainers may need to remain in the mouth even longer to maintain results. 

There are several types of retainers to choose from after completing orthodontic treatment with braces.

Options include removable retainers like Hawley and Essix, which allow for removal during eating, as well as permanent bonded retainers made of clear plastic or metal wire that stays attached to the front teeth at all times.

Many factors affect the total cost of retainers.

The price depends on the cost of your braces treatment, your dental insurance coverage, and whether a removable or fixed retainer is needed. You have to factor in the replacement cost of retainers if the initial retainer is lost or damaged. 

Vivera Retainers

You can make an informed choice by discussing your retainer options with your orthodontist. Ask any questions about the different types, factors influencing costs without coverage, and average prices to make your retainer wear worthwhile. 


 How often do retainers need to be replaced?

Removable retainers typically last 6-12 months when worn as instructed, though some may start to show wear within 6 months. On the flip side, permanent bonded retainers often last 2-5 years before needing replacement or repair. 

 Will my insurance help cover the cost of a retainer?

Many dental insurance plans cover the initial retainer, but plans and coverage vary significantly between providers. Your insurance may pay for the first retainer but not replacements, or only cover part of the replacement cost. 

 How much does a single replacement retainer cost?

A standard Hawley replacement retainer made of plastic and metal generally costs between $150-$300, while a similar clear Essix replacement is slightly less at around $125-$250. More customized options like Vivera retainers tend to be pricier at $200-$400, or even more. 

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