Objective: To compare the postretention dental changes between patients treated with Invisalign and those treated with conventional fixed appliances.
Materials and methods: This is a comparative cohort study using patient records of one orthodontist in New York City. Two groups of patients were identified that differed only in the method of treatment (Invisalign and Braces group). Dental casts and panoramic radiographs were collected and analyzed using the objective grading system (OGS) of the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). The cases were evaluated immediately after appliance removal (T1) and at a postretention time (T2), three years after appliance removal. All patients had completed active orthodontic treatment and had undergone at least one year of retention. A Wilcoxon rank sum test was used to evaluate differences in treatment outcomes between the groups for each of the eight categories in the OGS, including four additional subcategories in the alignment category. A Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to determine the significance of changes within each group from T1 to T2.
Results: The change in the total alignment score in the Invisalign group was significantly larger than that for the Braces group. There were significant changes in total alignment and mandibular anterior alignment in both groups. There were significant changes in maxillary anterior alignment in the Invisalign group only.
Conclusions: In this sample for this period of observation, patients treated with Invisalign relapsed more than those treated with conventional fixed appliances.