Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Ali Tassi



Retention is an important aspect of orthodontics, which may influence the long-term outcome and satisfaction level of patients who undergo orthodontic treatment. The objective of this study was to identify commonly used orthodontic retainers and retention protocols, and assess patients’ opinions and satisfaction levels with these regimens in relation to several pre-defined variables.


A 149 question survey was created with advanced skip and branching logic. The survey was administered to orthodontic patients at either the one or two year regularly scheduled retention appointment and the overall response rate was 99% (n=131). Data collection included queries on demographics, treatment satisfaction, stability and relapse, retention protocols, compliance, and satisfaction with prescribed retainers in relation to: appearance, speech, oral hygiene, retainer hygiene, the need for replacement and preferred retainers. Statistical analysis was done using Chi Square and Fishers’ Exact tests to detect significant associations between variables.


In the population surveyed, Essix retainers in the maxilla (50%) and bonded retainers in the mandible (46%) were most frequently prescribed. Satisfaction with dental alignment post-treatment and post-retention was high (~90%). Retainers prescribed depicted no associations with relapse. Self-reported compliance with prescribed retainer wear ranged between 75-85%, regardless of the regimen or retainer types. Bonded retainers were rated as the most esthetic and Hawley retainers the least. Maxillary Hawley retainers affected speech most often and bonded retainers the least. Patients with bonded retainers found it most difficult to maintain oral hygiene and keep their retainers clean, while patients with Essix found it the easiest. Bonded and Essix retainers required replacement most frequently in the maxilla and mandible, respectively. Even though the majority of patients (77% maxilla, 86% mandible) were satisfied with their prescribed retainer, maxillary Essix and mandibular bonded retainers were preferred most often if replacement was an option.