Performance of Hawley-type retainers: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials
Al Rahma, Wafa Jaber
Kaklamanos, Eleftherios G
Athanasiou, Athanasios E.
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Background: Although post-treatment changes are almost inevitable, and retention has long been recognized as one of the most critical and routine problems faced by orthodontists, there remains a lack of certainty regarding the parameters of any definitive retention protocol following orthodontic treatment. Objective: To investigate the performance of the Hawley-type retainers. Search methods: Search without restrictions in 15 databases and hand searching until December 2016. Selection criteria: Randomized clinical trials comparing the performance of Hawley-type retainers to other removable appliances or comparing different Hawley-type retainers’ wearing schedules. Data collection and analysis: Following study retrieval and selection, data extraction and individual study risk of bias assessment using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool took place. The overall quality of the available evidence was assessed with the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach. Results: Finally, 10 studies were identified involving 854 individuals, followed for up to 1 year after debonding. Eight studies compared subjects using Hawley and clear thermoplastic retainers; another compared Hawley to positioner and, finally, one trial involved individuals allocated to different Hawley appliance wearing schedules. Three studies were considered as being of low, four of unclear, and three of high risk of bias. In general, few differences were observed between the Hawley and other removable retainers regarding outcomes relevant to maxillary and mandibular dental arch measurements, dental arch relationships and occlusal contacts, speech evaluation, patient reported outcomes, adverse effects, and problems related to the appliances, as well as economic evaluation related outcomes. Moreover, no differences were observed between the compared Hawley wearing schedules. Overall, the quality of the available evidence was considered low. Conclusions: Given the overall quality of the available evidence and the multitude of parameters, which may have affected the results of the included trials, good practice would suggest further research in the respective field in order to increase both the quantity and quality of information available.