Failure of fixed orthodontic retainers: A systematic review

Iliadi, Anna; Kloukos, Dimitrios; Gkantidis, Nikolaos; Katsaros, Christos; Pandis, Nikolaos (2015). Failure of fixed orthodontic retainers: A systematic review. Journal of dentistry, 43(8), pp. 876-896. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.jdent.2015.05.002

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OBJECTIVE To evaluate the risk of failure of fixed orthodontic retention protocols. DATA Screening for inclusion eligibility, quality assessment of studies and data extraction was performed independently by two authors. SOURCES The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL were searched with no restrictions on publication date or language using detailed strategies. The main outcome assessed was bond failure. STUDY SELECTION Twenty-seven studies satisfied the inclusion criteria. Randomised controlled trials and prospective studies were evaluated according to the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Retrospective studies were graded employing the predetermined criteria of Bondemark. RESULTS Nine randomised controlled trials, four of which were of low quality, were identified. Six studies had a prospective design and all were of low quality. Twelve studies were retrospective. The quality of trial reporting was poor in general. Four studies assessing glass-fibre retainers, three RCTs and one prospective, reported bond failures from 11 to 71%, whereas twenty studies evaluating multistranded retainers – nine RCTs, two prospective and nine retrospective – reported failures ranging from 12 to 50%. One comparison was performed, multistranded wires vs. polyehtylene woven ribbon (RR: 1.74; 95% CI: 0.45, 6.73; p=0.42). CONCLUSION The quality of the available evidence is low. No conclusive evidence was found in order to guide orthodontists in the selection of the best protocol. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE Although fixed orthodontic retainers have been used for years in clinical practice, the selection of the best treatment protocol still remains a subjective issue. The available studies, and their synthesis, cannot provide reliable evidence in this field.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Orthodontics

UniBE Contributor:

Kloukos, Dimitrios; Gkantidis, Nikolaos; Katsaros, Christos and Pandis, Nikolaos


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Elsevier Science




Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2016 16:54

Last Modified:

25 Jan 2017 12:15

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Bond failure, Detachment, Fixed retainers, Orthodontic retention




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