Align Technology, the creators of Invisalign sponsor dental research around the globe. Grants of around £250,000 per annum bring technological improvement and wider knowledge to dentistry.
Seeing a provider allocate funds in this way is welcome, although from the perspective of our patients, we need to look at independent research on the Invisalign system.
A 2015 paper focused on the reasons people choose clear aligners. Measuring their validity through quality of life questionnaires and clinical assessment, on patients wearing Invisalign, or fixed braces.
They found far fewer gingival health issues with Invisalign, the same group also showed greater satisfaction with orthodontic treatment and the effect they felt this had on their life.
The two main reasons for using clear, removable aligners were backed up by results. Healthier gums due to easier oral hygiene and aesthetic benefits. We should still look at orthodontic effectiveness.
In 2019, a systematic review collated 20 studies over the previous decade. The review concentrated on accuracy and efficiency.
No apparent differences were found between Invisalign and fixed appliances in most circumstances, including for crowded teeth. A few cases of heightened tooth contact, or inclination fared better with braces.
A similar 2018 review on 22 pieces of research came to similar conclusions. That the Invisalign system is a viable alternative to conventional braces in the correction of moderate malocclusions.
A further point picked up in research is that with Invisalign, the majority of tooth movement occurs in the early stages. Seeing quick change is in no way detrimental and another reason people choose Invisalign.
The key is whether your professional orthodontist is confident that you are making the right choice. They will study your oral profile in detail and confirm whether the need and solution are an ideal match.
As the research shows, there can be cases where clear aligners will not bring the best outcome but they are unusual and for the majority of patients, Invisalign treatment is a sound option.