Learn Orthodontics

Fitting a Fixed or Bonded Retainer

Equipment Required

  1. Handpiece, rubber cup and prophy paste
  2. Light cure unit, flat plastic instrument
  3. Acid etch and Transbond/Filtrek (flowable composite) and primer
  4. Constructed bonded retainer.

I and a colleague developed a putty holder to act as a locating jig as locating the retainer is the difficult part - for details see:

Hobson RS and Eastaugh DP. A silicone putty splint for rapid placement of directly bonded retainers. Journal of Clinical Orthodontics (1993) 27; 536-537

dbr 3


(Often the appliance is left in situ until the bonded retainer is placed)

  1. Using the handpiece, rubber cup and prophy paste, undertake a through prophylaxis of the lingual tooth surfaces.
  2. dbr 1
  3. Acid etch the lingual surfaces for 30 seconds, wash and dry. Isolate the lingual surfaces to keep them dry. (notice the cotton wool roll in the floor of the mouth)
  4. dbr 2
  5. Apply a very thin layer of Transbond primer to the lingual surfaces of the teeth to be bonded. Light cure the primer for 5 seconds
  6. dbr 5
  7. Place the retainer in place using the putty jig/holder. Carefully apply Transbond/Filtrek flowable composite to the two exposed wire ends (ensuring the composite is smooth) and light cure for 20 seconds. Then remove the putty holder/jig.
  8. dbr 6
  9. Using the Transbond composite carefully bond the retainer to each tooth. It is essential to ensure the composite is smooth and the wire fully embedded (a flat plastic instrument can help - dipping it in some primer stops it 'sticking'). A brush dipped in primer also aids smoothing.
  10. dbr 7
  11. Check all surfaces to ensure that they are smooth. Use burs/discs as required.
  12. dbr 8

Video of Placing Bonded Retainer using above technique.