tjm, Everything everyone is saying here is pretty solid. I can tell you from personal experience ... had a chipped tooth in high school.. front tooth .. first chair .. decent range blah blah ...got a temprary cap... I couldn't play a note .. nothing... I had them file it and got up to a C.. but it was brutal ... then they put in the permanent I could play again .. but my sound would literally cut out at High E ... then in college the cap broke off.. thank God I had the instructor I did.. he said to make sure I get a stainless steel backed porceline cap because the THICKNESS of the cap effects range ... new cap.. finally double C's within a month... Hallejulah a miracle... so FOR ME .. this was the case .. FOR ME That doesn't mean you are doomed by a retainer or anything like that.. but you might be affected by it. IMHO Do you take off your retainer when you play? Is the retainer causing swelling?