Journal Article

Glass fibre reinforced versus multistranded bonded orthodontic retainers: a 2 year prospective multi-centre study

Michel P. E. Tacken, Jan Cosyn, Peter De Wilde, Johan Aerts, Elke Govaerts and Bart Vande Vannet

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 32, issue 2, pages 117-123
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Glass fibre reinforced versus multistranded bonded orthodontic retainers: a 2 year prospective multi-centre study

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The objective of this study was to compare glass fibre reinforced (GFR) with multistranded bonded orthodontic retainers in terms of success rate and periodontal implications.

A 2 year parallel study was conducted of 184 patients scheduled to receive bonded retainers in the upper and lower anterior segments. In three centres, the patients (mean age 14 years; 90 males and 94 females) were sequentially assigned to receive GFR retainers containing 500 unidirectional glass fibres (GFR500), 1000 unidirectional glass fibres (GFR1000), or multistranded retainers (gold standard). Retainer failures and periodontal conditions were monitored every 6 months. In a control group of 90 subjects without retainers, periodontal conditions were examined (negative control). Of the 274 recruited patients, 15 dropped out during the 2 year study period. Kaplan–Meier plots were drawn to assess survival of the different retainers. The Mantel–Cox log-rank test was used to identify significant differences in survival functions among the groups. Repeated measures analysis of variance and appropriate post hoc tests were adopted to evaluate periodontal conditions over time.

GFR retainers showed unacceptably high failure rates in comparison with multistranded retainers (51 versus 12 per cent). The most significant periodontal conditions were found in patients with GFR retainers with no significant differences between the GFR500 and the GFR1000 group for any parameter at any time point. Subjects without retainers showed significantly lower levels of gingival inflammation and plaque accumulation when compared with patients in any retainer group.

Multistranded retainers should remain the gold standard for orthodontic retention, although periodontal complications are common. The use of GFR retainers should be discouraged in daily practice.

Journal Article.  3693 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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