This maxillary wraparound retainer (Fig. 1) is ideal
for a well-finished case where the second
molars are included in the final occlusion. An
.036" wire is used for both the cantilever arm and
the labial bow, which is contoured around the
first and second molars and in the embrasures. It
is not necessary to engage any of the tooth undercuts.
The cantilever arm begins at the middle of
the first bicuspid, where it is soldered to the labial
bow. To provide adequate support and stability,
it should lie about 3mm superior and parallel
to the labial bow until it reaches the second
molar, where it again contacts the labial bow. The
cantilever arm should be adjacent to, but not
touching, the gingiva, and should not impinge on
the buccal mucosa.
If the labial bow tends to slide due to the
inclination or contour of the incisors, it can be
adjusted up or down by using a three-prong plier
to place a slight bend in the middle of the cantilever
arm. In the rare cases where retention is
inadequate, the labial bow can be adjusted at the
embrasures with a three-prong plier. Acrylic can
be added in the anterior region if desired.
With this design, there are no occlusal or
interproximal interferences from support or
retention wires. The patient's occlusion can settle
easily, especially if the acrylic is relieved on the
palatal surfaces of the posterior teeth. Wire
breakage has been rare.