Evaluation of Mandibular Arch Width Changes following Fixed Retention in Post Orthodontic Patients - a Randomized Clinical Trial

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Retention is an integral phase in which teeth are maintained in their newly adapted position for which retainers are inserted. Retainers are generally of two types: removable and fixed. Fixed retainers are indicated in the mandibular arch for an indefinite period specifically in the non-extraction cases. Changes in intercanine and intermolar widths are valuable parameters to evaluate the stability. The objectives of this study were to assess and compare the mandibular intercanine and intermolar width changes following orthodontic treatment after insertion of two types of fixed lingual retainers for one year.


Total 54 subjects were recruited in which two types of fixed lingual retainers were inserted in the mandibular arch randomly. Intercanine and intermolar arch widths were measured by digital caliper of 0.01 mm accuracy. Data was analyzed by using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS V-21). Chi-square and independent t tests were used to compare baseline characteristics. Intercanine and intermolar widths were assessed and compared using independent t test, p-value ≤ 0.05 is considered as statistically significant.


Intercanine width increased from baseline to T4 in both retainers. When mean differences of intercanine width were compared between two retainers significant differences were observed at T1, T2, T3 and T4 with significant p-values (< 0.05) and increased intercanine width with multistranded stainless steel wire (MSW) retainers.


Mandibular intercanine width increases significantly in post retention phase with multistranded stainless steel retainers. Thus, fiber reinforced composite retainers are more effective in preserving the arch width changes.


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