The final phase in orthodontic care is to remove the braces and wear a dental retainer. A retainer is a custom fit, removable appliance that is designed to hold the teeth in place after the braces are removed. Dental retainers should be worn all day and night for three to nine months as recommended by the orthodontist.
In most cases, the cost of the retainer has been included in the quoted price for the complete orthodontic treatment. Many orthodontists will provide you with an itemised list that will show how the cost is broken down. Retainer prices can vary from £325 to £650 as of November 2010, depending on the length and complexity of the treatment, according to figures from CostHelper.com.
In the event that a dental retainer is lost or broken, the patient must pay an additional fee to replace the item. Depending on the orthodontic practice, the replacement may range from £48 to £162, says CostHelper.com. It is imperative that the appliance be replaced as soon as possible because the patient's teeth may shift if the retainer is not worn.
Some orthodontists require patients to separately purchase a case for the retainer. Retainer cases typically cost £3 to £6.