Document Type : Original Article
Associate Professor, Dental Research Center, Dentistry Research Institute and Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Dentist, Private Practice
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Aim: This study aimed to assess the frequency of using clear aligners by orthodontists and their perspective in this respect.
Methods: This descriptive-analytical study evaluated 86 orthodontists practicing in Iran in 2021. An online questionnaire was designed by an expert panel to collect information regarding the frequency of use of clear aligners (CA) by orthodontists, their satisfaction rate with this treatment approach, their perception of CA's advantages and disadvantages and the challenges they encountered while using CA. The results were analyzed by descriptive analysis methods and regression analysis.
Results: Eighty-six orthodontists filled out the questionnaire. Less than one-third of participants reported using CA, and the majority of them reported using it for less than 10% of their patients. Of those not using CA, 75% were interested in using them. The mean satisfaction score with CA was 9.26 out of 20. The main reason for not using CA was difficult access to reputable companies and suboptimal quality of work of the available laboratories. The majority of orthodontists stated that CA could not be used for cases with impacted teeth, orthognathic surgery patients, and syndromic, cleft lip and palate patients. The main shortcoming of CA was perceived to be in the space closure phase, and their cost was 50-100% higher than regular orthodontic treatment. Older orthodontists were less interested in using CA while faculty members were more interested.
Conclusion: The frequency of use of clear aligners by Iranian orthodontists is low and their satisfaction rate with this approach is <50%.
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