2021 Invisalign Scientific Symposium presents efficacy and applicability of clear aligners
LONDON, UK: From 2 to 3 July, Align Technology presented its third Invisalign Scientific Symposium, which was held in a digital format for the second time and was broadcast from the Align Studios in the UK. The event provided an excellent blend of advanced scientific content, inspiring lectures delivered by enthusiastic renowned speakers and the opportunity to socialise with like-minded peers. Key topics included the efficacy of the Invisalign system and clear aligners as a treatment option in young patients. Over 1,200 orthodontists from 60 countries attended the symposium, which was concluded by a high-quality poster presentation.
Hundreds of excited orthodontists and orthodontic students sitting in front of their computers, greetings from Romania, South Korea, Greece, Russia and many other countries flooding the chat room, the countdown timer reaching zero—this is how the 2021 Invisalign Scientific Symposium entered into another successful round of informative lectures.
Speakers confirm clinical efficacy of clear aligners
A great part of the symposium was dedicated to the efficacy and predictability of Invisalign aligners. In his lecture, Dr Tommaso Castroflorio from Italy discussed whether alignment in Class II and open-bite treatments can be predicted. In doing so, he familiarised the audience with specific features related to Invisalign G8 innovations. Castroflorio stressed that Invisalign is the only system incorporating SmartForce aligner activation features.
Prof. Juan Carlos Rivero Lesmes from Spain gave a presentation on the predictability and efficacy of orthodontic arch expansion with clear aligners and said the expansion movements of the maxillary or mandibular arch, performed with the Invisalign system, are considered highly predictable.
Whether patients with bimaxillary protrusion could be treated with clear aligners was the research question considered by Dr Xin Guan from China. According to her, many people in China have protruded profiles and wish to have them straightened. The results of her clinical cases showed that aligner treatment of bimaxillary protrusion patients, who require premolar extraction and maximal anchorage, is suitable and effective.
In her lecture, Dr Meiya Gao from China focused on the patients’ quality of life by comparing the pain levels, anxiety and oral health of patients with clear aligners with that of patients who received fixed appliances. Her main findings were that clear aligners are a good treatment alternative to conventional options, as they, in general, may cause lower pain levels and less anxiety and demonstrate a higher oral health-related quality of life.
Benefits for growing patients
Another important topic of the symposium was how clear aligners can have an impact on the oral and mental health of younger patients. In an ongoing study, orthodontist Dr Regina Blevins from the US is comparing the oral hygiene of growing patients with clear aligners with that of patients who received fixed appliances. Preliminary findings show that patients with clear aligners have better oral hygiene and demonstrate less decalcification.
In a joint presentation, Dr Silvia Caruso from Italy and Dr Sam Daher from Canada discussed mandibular advancement in dental and skeletal Class II protocols. Apart from the fact that the simultaneous correction of Class II and alignment of the anterior teeth may be more efficient than conventional treatment methods, it was also stressed that mandibular advancement with Invisalign treatment is more user-friendly because patients can open their mouth more easily and speak better—in comparison with patients with fixed appliances—resulting in higher compliance.
“I am sure aligners in growing patients will soon be gold-standard” – Prof. Luca Levrini
Prof. Luca Levrini from Italy addressed the pre- and post-treatment predictability of arch development with Invisalign First treatment in the mixed dentition. His take-home message was that “slow arch development respects the body and biological process, which is why I perfectly happy with the Invisalign First system to treat my growing patients. The fact that it is removable offers numerous benefits including satisfactory oral hygiene and flexibility. Working on growing patients at an early stage can prevent extractions, IPR, distalisation of the teeth, and proclination in adult patients. In my experience, children are superbly compliant and cooperative and from a clinical perspective, it is so simple to integrate Invisalign First treatment into your practice.” He emphasised: “I am sure aligners in growing patients will soon be gold-standard.”
And the winner is…
The poster presentation featured four cases that focused on the treatment of growing patients with clear aligners. Dr Teresa Pinho from Portugal was announced as winner of the poster session for her presentation on “Skeletal open bite treated with clear aligners and miniscrews”.
Commenting on her case, she said: “The success of this clinical case was owing to the posterior vertical control. Considering the initial open bite magnitude, a minimal extrusion of the incisors reinforces the occurrence of counterclockwise rotation of the mandible as a major contribution to close the open bite. All this data shows, without any doubt, that aligners and miniscrews are an asset in the correction of complex cases, particularly in cases of severe open bites.”
Looking forward to 2022 edition
The event provided many unique insights into innovations in orthodontics, showed how technology benefits treatment planning, offered live product demonstrations and gave attendees the opportunity to ask speakers about their clinical experience during the live Q and A sessions.
“I hope the audience noticed an increase in the quality of the scientific content and in relevancy that they can take back to their practices. This really helps us to treat complex cases such as those in growing patients,” said Dr Michael Davidson, Align Technology’s director of clinical and professional education for Europe, Middle East and Africa, in his closing message. “I really look forward to next year’s edition,” he added.