ABSTRACT

Objectives

To measure the thickness homogeneity of Invisalign (Align Technology Inc, San José, Calif) aligners with micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scans.

Materials and Methods

Starting from micro-CT scanning of 20 different aligners, multiplanar reconstructions were obtained. An orthodontist blinded about the study measured aligner thickness in different regions (molar, canine, incisor) and in different sites (gingival–buccal, buccal, occlusal, lingual, and gingival–lingual). To assess various thicknesses in different aligner sites and regions, the sample was stratified into subgroups and linear regression analysis was performed.

Results

Descriptive analysis showed that mean thickness of aligners in the incisor region ranged from 0.582 mm to 0.639 mm, in the canine region from 0.569 mm to 0.644 mm, and in the molar region from 0.566 mm to 0.634 mm. Student's t-tests showed no significant differences in the aligner thickness of different regions when data were stratified by different sites. Student's t-tests showed significant differences in thickness homogeneity for the molar region when the data were stratified by tooth (mean difference = 0.068 mm; 95% confidence interval, 0.009–0.126 mm; P = .024).

Conclusions

Invisalign aligner thickness is characterized by small differences. The only significant difference was revealed in the molar region where thickness of the gingival–lingual edge is significantly thinner than that measured at the occlusal aspect. From a clinical perspective, the results of the present study could be considered to explain the reduced predictability of several orthodontic tooth movements in the molar region.

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Author notes

a

Resident, Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

b

Postgraduate Student, Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

c

Biostatistician and Epidemiologist, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

d

Associate Professor, Department of Endodontics and Operative Dentistry, Dental School, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

e

Professor and Department Chairman, Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

f

Researcher, Vice-Director Specialization School of Orthodontics, Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.