A Guide to Hawley Retainers - Specialist Orthodontic Group : Specialist Orthodontic Group
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A Guide to Hawley Retainers

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You may not know this, but there are actually a range of different types of retainer. One of the most common types of retainer is the Hawley retainer.

The Hawley retainer is made of a metal wire shaped to keep the six anterior teeth in the correct position. The wire is held securely in place with an acrylic plate that’s designed to fit the roof of the wearer’s mouth.

The history of Hawley retainers

This type of retainer was first created by Dr Charles A. Hawley towards the beginning of the 20th century. Interestingly, Dr Hawley is also thought to be the first orthodontist to use nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic when removing teeth. In short, we have a lot to thank him for!

Why you might have one

There are many reasons why you might have a Hawley retainer. They’re often used as the first part in a two-phased treatment programme. The Hawley retainer is ideal in cases where teeth only need to be moved a minimal amount.

What are the benefits

Hawley retainers are easy to wear, and can be quickly removed and put back in again. This style of retainers are strong enough to stand up to life with a teenager! The metal wires can easily be adjusted to facilitate movement of the teeth, without having to have a new retainer. Some patients also like the Hawley retainer as it can work well alongside prosthetic teeth.

What about disadvantages?

Clear vacuum-formed retainers such as Invisalign are becoming more popular, and many people are choosing those over more traditional Hawley retainers. The main disadvantages of the Hawley retainer in comparison is that it doesn’t look as aesthetically pleasing and it can interfere with speech patterns more than other types of brace.

Want to learn more about your options for orthodontic treatment? You can read more about retainers on the Orthokind, York website.