To analyze adaptational changes in clear aligner fit after intraoral usage at different sets of time.
Eight Invisalign appliances (Align Technology, San Jose, California, USA) were collected after intraoral usage. Acrylic imprints of the lower incisor region were constructed for each appliance at T0 (unused appliance). Two appliances were then used intra-orally for each of the following defined periods of time: 3 days, 7 days, 10 days, or 15 days. Used aligners were adapted on its T0 imprint and both were sectioned buccolingually from the distal surfaces of each incisor at the attachment area. Eight surfaces were collected for each set of time (n = 32 surfaces). Microphotographs of obtained sections and micrometric measurements of aligner fit were recorded at five different levels using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Mean values of the fit changes (gap width) and group comparisons were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance and Tukey's post hoc tests. Significance level was set at P < .05.
Highly significant differences in aligner fit were found at the different time points assessed (P < .001) with the least mean gap width at 15 days (176 ± 98 μm) and the highest at 7 days (269 ± 145 μm). Significant differences in aligner fit at different attachment levels were also found (P < .01) with the least mean gap width at the middle of the labial surface of the attachment (187 ± 118 μm).
The 15-day period of intraoral aligner wear might still be recommended as it showed the best adaptation and least gap width between the aligner and the attachment.
Associate Professor, Orthodontic Department, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Consultant, Orthodontic Department, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.