Objectives

To compare changes in upper arch dimension and molar inclination between Invisalign First (IF) and removable acrylic expander (RE) treatments during the mixed dentition period.

Materials and Methods

Seventeen patients meeting inclusion criteria underwent IF treatment and were age matched with a group that received treatment with a removable acrylic expander (RE). Intercanine width (ICW), intermolar width, arch depth, buccolingual inclination of the first molars (MI), surface area (SA) and volume (VAP) of the anterior palate, and expansion were compared before and after treatment. The predictability of expansion was calculated for the IF group. Analysis of variance and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to assess differences.

Results

The ICW increased significantly by 2.14 mm in the IF group and 3.49 mm in the RE group, with no significant intergroup difference. Both groups exhibited significant increases in intermolar width (P < .05), except for intermolar distopalatal width in the IF group (P = .246). Mesiobuccal rotation of the first molar was observed with IF treatment. Although SA and VAP increased in both groups, the changes were not significant for the IF group (P > .05). The RE group exhibited significantly higher increases (P < .05), with an SA increase of 34.32 mm2 and VAP increase of 119.15 mm3. MI changes were in the opposite directions. The prediction accuracy of expansion was 70.28% for canines and 34.12% for first molars.

Conclusions

Both appliances effectively expanded the intercanine region in growing patients. Expansion predictability was lower in first molars than in canines for the IF group. Removable acrylic expanders could be a choice of preference for expansion targeted to the molar region.

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Author notes

a

Associate Professor, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

b

Private practice, Ankara, Turkey.

c

PhD candidate, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

d

Professor, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, İzmir Tınaztepe University, İzmir; and private practice, Ankara, Turkey.