Objective: To survey retention procedures used in orthodontic practices in Switzerland.
Material and methods: A questionnaire previously developed by Renkema et al. (2009) was sent to 223 Swiss orthodontists. The questionnaire comprised six parts, mainly containing multiple-choice questions. Information as to background education of the individual orthodontist, retention in general, frequency of different types of removable or bonded retainers that were used, retention protocol, and the type and size of the wire used for bonded retainers was assessed.
Results: The overall response rate was 65 percent. Most orthodontists placed a bonded retainer in the upper and lower arch, except when the upper arch was expanded during treatment or when extractions were performed in the upper arch, in which case they placed a combination of fixed and removable retainers. Opinions varied with regard to how many hours the removable retainers should be worn and the duration of the retention phase. As far as bonded retainers were concerned, 87 percent of the orthodontists preferred life-long retention. Ninety-three percent of the orthodontists considered that the development of a guideline on retention procedures would be useful.
Conclusions: The choice of retention procedures is mostly based on orthodontist’s personal preference. A further research into the long-term effectiveness of individual retention protocols is needed.

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