Essix Partial Denture Retainer: Pros, Cons, and Cost

a young personal woman smiling while looking off camera

Patients often use an Essix retainer with a tooth when they can’t find a permanent solution to missing teeth. It’s a great temporary solution so they can perform their daily activities. Some also need an Essix retainer after a recent tooth extraction and do not want to be seen with missing teeth. 

Essix retainers have widespread popularity across all age groups. Yet, lingering questions remain like: Are they genuinely beneficial? Might they pose future challenges? How does one properly maintain an Essix retainer? Are they suitable for individuals with missing teeth? And what about the cost? 

Here, we discuss all the essential details along with some benefits you should be aware of.

What is an Essix Retainer with a Tooth?

Essix retainers, also known as clear aligner retainers, are a popular choice for maintaining the results achieved through braces or clear aligner treatment. These retainers are made of clear, removable plastic, making them discreet and convenient for daily wear.

One unique aspect of Essix retainers is their ability to serve a cosmetic function when used together with a tooth denture. While they don’t actually replace missing teeth, when worn with a denture, they can give the appearance of a complete smile by filling in gaps left by missing teeth. However, it’s important to note that this cosmetic effect doesn’t restore full chewing ability or completely replace the function of natural teeth.

Despite their cosmetic benefits, Essix retainers are primarily designed to maintain the alignment achieved through orthodontic treatment. Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that Essix retainers are equally effective in this regard compared to other types of retainers, such as Hawley retainers or fixed retainers.

an essix retainer with tooth on a white table

Are Essix Retainers Better? (Pros & Cons of Essix Retainers)

Essix retainers may be a better fit for you than other retainers, but they won’t be for everyone. Below are some pros and cons to help you decide.


Aesthetic Appeal: their clear plastic provides a discreet and natural appearance

Comfort: generally more comfortable to wear than traditional partial dentures

Removability: allows for easy cleaning and maintenance of oral hygiene 

Custom Fit: custom-made to fit each individual’s mouth


Durability: the plastic material used isn’t as strong as the metal or acrylic of traditional partial dentures

Limited Functionality: doesn’t provide enough stability for chewing

Limited Longevity: need to be replaced frequently

How Much Does Essix Retainer With a Tooth Cost?

Essix retainers can cost up to $650.00 from a traditional dentist. But when you buy direct from the warehouse, they start at $329.99.

Essix Partial Retainer With Tooth Collage

How to Clean Essix Retainer?

With proper care and cleaning, Essix retainers can last the duration of your orthodontic treatment. To maintain your retainer, follow these instructions:

  • Each time you take out your Essix retainer and before you replace it, rinse it with cold water.
  • When you aren’t wearing your retainer, keep it in a storage case.
  • Make sure to brush your retainer after each meal using a soft toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste on your retainer.
  • A retainer cleaner should be used every two to three weeks to keep your retainer clean.

How Long Do Essix Retainers Last?

Generally, Essix retainers can last anywhere from several months to a few years with proper care and maintenance. 

However, it’s essential that you follow your dentist’s recommendations regarding retainer wear and replacement intervals. Additionally, regular dental check-ups can help monitor the condition of the retainer and ensure that it continues to effectively maintain the desired dental corrections. 

If the retainer shows signs of wear or damage or no longer fits properly, it’s advisable to consult with a dentist or orthodontist for evaluation and potential replacement.

Get Your Smile Back With an Essix Retainer With a Tooth

When it comes to replacing a missing tooth, an Essix retainer emerges as a versatile and practical choice. Acting as a temporary prosthetic, this transparent device offers both comfort and affordability. With proper care, an Essix retainer can be worn for an extended period, providing ample time to explore permanent replacement options.

With the flexibility to wear it for several months to a few years, an Essix retainer offers a valuable interim solution while you carefully consider your long-term dental needs. Whether you’re awaiting dental implants or exploring alternative treatments, an Essix retainer provides stability and aesthetics during the transition.

If you’re seeking a temporary fix that fits your budget, consider an Essix retainer from Dental Lab Direct. Take the first step towards restoring your smile and regaining your confidence today with this convenient, cost-effective solution!