Although there’s no doubt that clear aligners are an incredibly popular choice for orthodontic treatment these days, much of the evidence about their benefits has been anecdotal rather than clinical. A group of German researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz set out to change this by carrying out a study titled: Braces versus Invisalign: Gingival parameters and patients’ satisfaction during treatment: A cross-sectional study.
The study compared the oral health status, oral hygiene and treatment satisfaction of 100 patients who underwent orthodontic treatment for more than six months – 50 were treated with fixed orthodontic appliances (FOA), i.e. braces, while 50 wore Invisalign aligners. The researchers performed clinical examinations before and after the treatment to observe the patients’ dental health and any changes that occurred. A detailed questionnaire was also used to assess each patient’s oral hygiene and diet, as well as how satisfied they felt with their treatment. Apparently, all of the patients were given the same oral hygiene instructions, which included being advised to brush their teeth, floss and use an interdental brush three times a day.
The study found that there was no discernible difference between the oral health and hygiene of both groups prior to their orthodontic treatment. During the course of the study, it was noted that the patients wearing Invisalign aligners experienced a significant improvement in their gum health. These was also a slight decrease in dental plaque, although the patients wearing braces experienced this too.
Where the Invisalign aligners really came into their own according to the study was in terms of patient satisfaction. Only six percent of the Invisalign group felt the aligners impaired their general health, compared to 36% of the patients wearing fixed orthodontic appliances.
Fifty-six percent of the FOA patients said the braces irritated their gums, compared to 14% of Invisalign wearers. Twenty-six percent of FOA patients reported that they were self-conscious about laughing for aesthetic reasons, whereas only six percent of Invisalign patients expressed this concern.
Both groups did feel that they had to modify their eating habits during their orthodontic treatment but again, Invisalign comes out on top with 50% compared to 70% of FOA wearers. Many of the patients in both groups also felt they had to brush their teeth for longer and more often (84% of FOA wearers against 52% of Invisalign wearers).
The researchers drew on the data from the study to conclude that Invisalign clear aligners have significantly lower negative impacts than braces, especially when it comes to overall health and gum health.
As Invisalign also offers you a discreet, removable and effective way to straighten your teeth, it is reassuring to read the findings from this study.
If you would like to find out more about Invisalign in London at Crescent Lodge Dental Practice, call us on 020 7622 533 to book a consultation.