Evaluation of retention protocols among members of the American Association of Orthodontists in the United States

Michael C. Pratt, George Thomas Kluemper, James K. Hartsfield, David Fardo, David A. Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Little research has been conducted to evaluate protocols and trends in orthodontic retention. The purpose of this study was to identify the general retention protocols used by orthodontists in the United States. Additionally, our goal was to identify trends in these orthodontic retention protocols by evaluating how they have changed over the past 5 years and how they might continue to change in the next 5 years. Methods: The study was conducted via a 36-question electronic survey (REDCap, Nashville, Tenn) with branching logic on certain questions. The survey was sent to all 9143 practicing members of the American Association of Orthodontists in the United States, and 1632 (18%) responded. Results and Conclusions: Mean retention protocols of the surveyed population showed predominant use of Hawley or vacuum-formed retainers in the maxillary arch and fixed retention in the mandibular arch. For both arches, there is a current shift away from Hawley retainers and toward vacuum-formed retainers and fixed retention. Respondents who extract fewer teeth reported increased use of fixed retention in the maxillary (P = 0.041) and mandibular (P = 0.003) arches. Respondents who extract fewer teeth and use removable retainers were more likely to tell their patients to wear their retainers at night for the rest of their lives (P = 1.63 × 10 -6).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Volume140
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics

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