Hawley Retainer vs Essix Retainer: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

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When choosing a retainer solution to keep your teeth in their new, straightened appearance after wearing braces, dental patients will likely consider price, performance, and purpose. The goal of a retainer is to make sure your teeth stay straight in their new position while also giving your mouth muscles, bones and gums more time to conform to the new arrangement of your teeth.

This comprehensive comparison guide between a Hawley retainer vs Essix will help you make the right decision by exploring their differences and similarities.

Understanding Hawley Retainer vs Essix Retainer

An Essix retainer is removable and is constructed totally of clear vinyl. The dental appliance fits neatly over the wearers’ teeth because it is custom-made from the patient’s dental impression, similar to how a custom mouthguard is created. Essix retainers are popular because they are virtually invisible and are preferred by dental patients concerned with aesthetics.

A Hawley retainer is a common dental appliance that is constructed of an acrylic material that has metal wires to secure attachment to the front teeth. As the retainer extends around the back teeth, it creates a gripping force to hold the retainer in place.

Hawley Retainer vs Essix

Benefits of the Hawley Retainer

The Hawley retainer has a tough acrylic base and is built to last. It is for this reason that the Hawley retainer has been so popular for so many years. Dental patients enjoy vigorously brushing the Hawley retainer with no fear of damaging or scratching the dental appliance.

For young people who desire a more personalized retainer, the Hawley can be custom-made with a number of patterns and/or colors added to the acrylic base. Cleaning a Hawley retainer is easy, and because they can be quickly taken out and put back in, they are able to fit a wide range of activities versus traditional retainers.

Also, patients report very little gum irritation with a Hawley retainer, and when adjustments do need to be made, it is easily done by your dental practitioner.

Pros of an Essix Retainer

Essix retainers have become popular in recent years due to their affordability. They cost a fraction of the price for a Hawley retainer. If the wearer wants to add a custom look, it is possible and done at the dental lab that crafts the Essix retainer. These retainers are even easier to remove and store to avoid damaging the appliance while participating in sports or physically demanding work.

The Essix retainer has been proven to keep newly straightened teeth in place because it has a snugger fit around the teeth, making any movement nearly impossible. The clear vinyl retainer, without wires, also makes the Essix retainer a more discreet and attractive choice.

Cons of Hawley Retainer vs Essix

When comparing the Hawley retainer vs Essix, the Essix is nearly invisible, being made totally of clear plastic – while the Hawley is not quite as discreet. But, when it comes to durability, the Hawley retainer is the clear winner. The lightweight and flexible nature of an Essix retainer makes them more susceptible to damage.

If price is a motivating factor when choosing between a Hawley retainer vs Essix, then the Essix retainer should be considered since it is very affordable when it comes to dental appliances. And, since replacing a Hawley retainer is more expensive, then you should consider any activities that may easily abuse or damage a Hawley retainer, even though they are more durable in the long run.

The most precise fit is accomplished with an Essix retainer, but this retainer has been known to influence a person’s bite. The Hawley retainer has excellent performance when it comes to preserving the wearer’s normal bite.

Skip The Dentist and Buy Direct

Whatever decision you make about Hawley Retainer vs Essix Retainer, it should be based on a thorough discussion with your orthodontist or dentist and research to make sure it aligns with your specific dental needs and preferences.

Dental Lab Direct’s range of retainers is a cost-effective way to achieve your dental goals.