Thoughts on Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners

“Remember that all is opinion.” – Marcus Aurelius

The topic of orthodontic treatment using clear aligners has long been subject to heated debate. It remains so to this day. (Warning: this will be a long post!)

On the one hand, a number of clinicians regularly claim achieving what they describe as “excellent” results using such appliances, claiming a reduction in chair side time and even overall treatment time, while many others do not really subscribe to the idea that they are an effective nor efficient method of treatment. Unfortunately, the research surrounding the efficacy and efficiency of clear aligner treatment is still very much lacking to date. A search for the term “clear aligner” on PubMed merely brings up a couple of pages of various case reports, editorials, and only a handful of trials that cannot be considered by any means as comprehensive nor conclusive. As such, the debate rages on and probably will continue for a long time, and at the moment, only clinical experience can be sought upon in an attempt to reach a meaningful conclusion, however prone to personal bias that may prove to be.

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