Invisalign has become a big part of my practice over the past couple of years. I went from not really doing orthodontics at all to being a Gold Plus Invisalign Provider. As cases finish, obviously retention is hugely important. I think we all have had the problem of relapses after ortho has finished. It’s one of those things that's a bummer for everyone. Patients are disappointed. We get frustrated. Overhead rises. There is no good outcome from failed retention.
Obviously, compliance is a huge factor; nothing helps prevent relapse if the patient isn’t wearing their retainers. However, every once in a while I will have a patient I know has been compliant with their retainers and still we have some relapse. Munchies Maintain can help prevent relapse on patients for whom you have just finished a beautiful orthodontics case.
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The most common type of retainer I order in my practice is Vivera by Invisalign. They are well made and come in a pack of four retainers per arch. The thermoplastic material is firm, strong, and durable. One problem with Vivera, and most other essix retainers, is that patients don’t always fully seat them onto their teeth because they are generally a little thicker than the aligners. This gives the teeth some wiggle room to begin to relapse. Even a tiny bit of space from not seating can cause issues. That is where Munchies Maintain come in.
These firm black rubber tools look just like the Munchies EPS. Patients are instructed to insert their retainers and then use Munchies Maintain to fully seat them. The patient should bite on the posterior wing of the Munchies Maintain on each side for around 30 seconds. They should then use the anterior channels of the device on both the upper and lower for a few seconds around the arch. If a patient has noticed any minor relapse and wishes to use the retainer to correct it, a two-minute session of biting into the Munchies Maintain every evening, along with using it every time they insert their retainer, should help correct minor issues.
In my practice, I give my patients one Munchies Maintain when we deliver their retainers. If they need another one later, we charge $10 per device. Our cost for a 24-pack of Munchies Maintain is $196. I feel this small amount per patient is worth the decreased risk of relapse and subsequent aligner refinement.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the July 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.