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removable vacuum-formed retainer (VFR) covering the palate and the maxillary anterior teeth from canine-to-canine and bonded canine-to-canine retainer in the lower arch (group V-CTC); maxillary VFR combined with stripping of the lower anterior teeth (group V-S); and prefabricated positioner covering all erupted teeth in the maxilla and the mandible (group P). According to the study, inclusion criteria were no previous orthodontics, permanent dentition, normal skeletal sagittal, vertical and transversal relationships, Class I dental relationship, space deficiencies and treatment plan with extractions of four premolars followed by fixed straight-wire appliance.

After five years or more out of retention, the three retention methods had achieved equally favorable clinical results, the authors wrote. They concluded, “Thus a maxillary VFR combined with a bonded canine-to-canine retainer in the mandible, a maxillary VFR combined with stripping of the mandibular anterior teeth and a prefabricated positioner can all be recommended.”

For more, see the full study, “Five-year post-retention outcomes of three retention methods — A randomized controlled trial,” in The European Journal of Orthodontics, first published online Dec. 1, 2014.