The retention phase has become an accepted part of orthodontic therapy. Irrespective of the patient's age, underlying malocclusion or the type of mechanotherapy, an orthodontist will use some retention method in virtually every patient following completion of the active treatment. This article presents a short description of the history of orthodontic retention and highlights major developments in retention strategy.
The history of orthodontic retention dates back to the nineteenth century.
Initially, orthodontists used primarily removable retainers.
The introduction of fixed wire retainers was a major change in orthodontic retention.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 24 print issues and online access
$259.00 per year
only $10.79 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Knierim R. Invisible lower cuspid-to-cuspid retainer. Angle Orthod 1973; 43: 218-220.
Angell E C. The treatment of irregularities of the permanent teeth. Dent Cosmos 1860; 1: 540-544.
Kingsley N W. Chapter 4: Physiology and pathology. In A treatise on oral deformities as a branch of mechanical surgery. 1st ed. pp 57-67. New York: Appleton & Co, 1880.
Angle E H. Chapter 12: Retention. In Treatment of malocclusion of the teeth and fractures of the maxillae. 6th ed. pp 150-166. Philadelphia: The SS White Dental Manufacturing Company, 1900.
Case C S. Chapter 49: Labial retaining fixtures. In A practical treatise on the techniques and principles of dental orthopaedia. 1st ed. pp 377-384. Chicago: C. S. Case Company, 1908.
Hawley C A. A removable retainer. Int J Orthod Oral Surg 1919; 5: 291-305.
Hawley C A. The principles and art of retention. Eur J Orthod 2007; 29: i16-i22.
Kesling H D The philosophy of the Tooth Positioning Appliance. Am J Orthod 1945; 31: 297-304.
Kesling H D Coordinating the predetermined pattern and tooth positioner with conventional treatment. Am J Orthod Oral Surg 1946; 32: 285-293.
Graber T M. Chapter 11: Retention after orthodontic therapy. In Orthodontics: Principles and Practice. 2nd ed. pp 596-609. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1966.
Barnett J W The centric relation tooth positioner. Its use as a finishing appliance for modern orthodontics. J Clin Orthod 1978; 12: 24-37.
Nahoum H I. The vacuum formed dental contour appliance. N Y Dent J 1964; 9: 385-390.
Sheridan J J, LeDoux W, McMinn R. Essix retainers: fabrication and supervision for permanent retention. J Clin Orthod 1993; 27: 37-45.
Hovell J H. Chapter 7: Malocclusion: diagnosis and treatment planning. In Walther D P (ed) Current orthodontics by eight teachers. pp 256. Bristol: John Wright and Sons Ltd, 1966.
Bennett J C, McLaughlin R P. Chapter 13: Fixed retainers. In Orthodontic Management of the Dentition with the Preadjusted Appliance. 1st ed. pp 148-152. Oxford: Isis Medical Ltd, 1997.
Wolfson J. Bandless but fixed retention. Am J Orthod 1974; 66: 431-434.
Rubenstein B M. A direct bond maxillary retainer. J Clin Orthod 1976; 10: 43.
Carter R N. Simplified direct-bonded retainer. J Clin Orthod 1978; 12: 221.
Lubit E C. The bonded retainer. J Clin Orthod 1979; 13: 311-313.
Lee R T. The lower incisor bonded retainer in clinical practice: a three year study. Br J Orthod 1981; 8: 15-18.
Zachrisson B U. Clinical experience with direct-bonded orthodontic retainers. Am J Orthod 1977; 71: 440-448.
Årtun J, Zachrisson B. Improving the handling properties of a composite resin for direct bonding. Am J Orthod 1982; 81: 269-276.
Zachrisson B U. The bonded lingual retainer and multiple spacing of anterior teeth. Swed Dent J Suppl 1982; 15: 247-255.
Årtun J, Spadafora A T, Shapiro P A, McNeill R W, Chapko M K. Hygiene status associated with different types of bonded, orthodontic canine-to-canine retainers. A clinical trial. J Clin Periodontol 1987; 14: 89-94.
Dahl E H, Zachrisson B U. Long-term experience with direct-bonded lingual retainers. J Clin Orthod 1991; 25: 619-630.
Zachrisson B U. The acid etch technique in orthodontics. Clinical studies. In Silverstone L M, Dogon L (Eds) Proceedings of an International Symposium on the Acid Etch Technique. pp 265-275. St. Paul: North Central Publishing Company, 1975.
Diamond M. Resin fibreglass bonded retainer. J Clin Orthod 1987; 21: 182-183.
Bearn D R. Bonded orthodontic retainers: a review. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1995; 108: 207-213.
Edwards J G. A long-term prospective evaluation of the circumferential supracrestal fibreotomy in alleviating orthodontic relapse. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1988; 93: 380-387.
Edman Tynelius G, Petrén S, Bondemark L, Lilja-Karlander E. Five-year postretention outcomes of three retention methods - a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Orthod 2015; 37: 345-353.
Forde K, Storey M, Littlewood S J, Scott P, Luther F, Kang J. Bonded versus vacuum-formed retainers: a randomized controlled trial. Part 1: stability, retainer survival, and patient satisfaction outcomes after 12 months. Eur J Orthod 2018; 40: 387-398.
Krämer A, Sjöström M, Hallman M, Feldmann I. Vacuum-formed retainer versus bonded retainer for dental stabilization in the mandible-a randomized controlled trial. Part I: retentive capacity 6 and 18 months after orthodontic treatment. Eur J Orthod 2020; 42: 551-558.
Egli F, Bovali E, Kiliaridis S, Cornelis M A. Indirect vs direct bonding of mandibular fixed retainers in orthodontic patients: Comparison of retainer failures and posttreatment stability. A 2-year follow-up of a single-centre randomized controlled trial. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2017; 151: 15-27.
Wegrodzka E, Kornatowska K, Pandis N, Fudalej P S. A comparative assessment of failures and periodontal health between two mandibular lingual retainers in orthodontic patients. A two-year follow-up, single practice-based randomized trial. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2021, in press.
Wolf M, Schumacher P, Jäger F et al. Novel lingual retainer created using CAD/CAM technology: evaluation of its positioning accuracy. J Orofac Orthop 2015; 76: 164-174.
Stout M M, Cook B K, Arola D D, Fong H, Raigrodski A J, Bollen A M. Assessing the feasibility of yttria-stabilized zirconia in novel designs as mandibular anterior fixed lingual retention after orthodontic treatment. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2017; 151: 63-73.
Padmos J A D, Fudalej P S, Renkema A M. Epidemiologic study of orthodontic retention procedures. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2018; 153: 496-504.
Kravitz N D, Grauer D, Schumacher P, Yong-min J. Memotain: A CAD/CAM nickel-titanium lingual retainer. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2017; 151: 812-815.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Fudalej, P., Renkema, AM. A brief history of orthodontic retention. Br Dent J 230, 777–780 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-021-2955-6