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Saudi Med J. 2016 Aug;37(8):895-901. doi: 10.15537/smj.2016.8.14570.

Retention practices and factors affecting retainer choice among orthodontists in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Orthodontics, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo,New York, United States of America. E-mail.



To identify the retention protocols practiced by orthodontists in Saudi Arabia, and the factors affecting retainer choice. 


This cross-sectional study took place between February and March of 2015 at the College of Dentistry, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. A previously tested electronic survey of 34 items was sent to all 1,200 orthodontic members of the Saudi Orthodontic Society. The questionnaire elicited data on the subjects' demographics, orthodontic treatment practices, retention, and post-retention protocols.  


One hundred and sixty-seven (13.9%) responses were received during the study period. The results showed predominant use of Hawley in the maxillary arch (61.3%), and fixed lingual in the mandibular arch (58.5%). Approximately 90.3% recommended full-time maxillary removable retainer wear. Overall, orthodontists who performed fewer extractions tended to use fixed retainers, and those who performed more extractions used removable retainers (p=0.018). Interproximal enamel reduction was used by 28% of the respondents as an adjunct procedure to enhance retention. Approximately 64% practiced a post-retention phase of retainer wear. Participants who used removable retainers most commonly prescribed lifetime retention. 


Hawley in the maxilla, and fixed lingual in the mandible were the most common retention protocols prescribed. Lifetime retention was the most common choice for participants who used removable retainers, especially when extractions were carried out.

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