ABSTRACT

Objectives

To compare the treatment and posttreatment effects of Invisalign aligners that incorporated SmartForce features and attachments to traditional fixed appliances.

Materials and Methods

This randomized controlled trial included 66 patients, 32 aligners, and 34 fixed-appliance patients. The median ages of the aligner and braces patients were 26.7 (interquartile range [IQR]: 9.8) and 25.9 (IQR: 16.6) years, respectively. Pretreatment occlusion was assessed using the ABO Discrepancy Index. Posttreatment (T1) and 6-month retention (T2) occlusions were quantified using the ABO Objective Grading System (OGS) scores.

Results

The braces group finished treatment significantly (P < .001) earlier (0.4 years) than the aligner group. The median DI scores for the aligner and braces groups were 4.5 and 7.0, respectively, which was a statistically significant (P = .015), but clinically insignificant, difference. There were no statistically significant between-group differences for the total OGS scores or any of the individual component scores at debond (T1) or after 6 months of retention (T2). During the posttreatment period, alignment and overjet worsened significantly in the aligner group, while buccolingual inclinations and occlusal relations improved. Over the same period, alignment worsened in the braces group and buccolingual inclinations improved. There was no statistically significant between-group difference in posttreatment changes of the total OGS scores.

Conclusions

While patients with simple malocclusions require 4.8 months longer treatment times with aligners than traditional braces, the treatment and 6-month posttreatment occlusal outcomes are similar.

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Author notes

a

Private Practice, Irving, TX, USA.

b

Employee Practitioner, Southeast Alaska Regional Heath Consortium, AK, USA.

c

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas, TX, USA.

d

Regents Professor and Director of Orthodontic Research, Department of Orthodontics, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas, TX, USA.