One of the main reasons adults opt for invisible braces, or aligners, is the perceived pain involved in treatment with metal braces. There are two important studies that address the particular question of ‘aligner comfort’ along with a host of others.
The first study is "Analysis of pain level in cases treated with aligners: comparison with fixed edgewise appliance therapy" (Fujiyama et al., 2014). In this study, researchers asked 145 volunteers who were correcting their crooked teeth to identify the pain quotient on a day-to-day basis using a scale.
The volunteers were divided based on method: conventional braces and aligners. The results showed a significant difference in pain intensity between those who were using aligners and those who were using braces. They also found that the duration of discomfort and pain lasted longer with patients who wore braces.
Another study to take into consideration is "A comparison of treatment impacts between aligners and fixed appliance therapy during the first week of treatment" (Miller et al., 2007).
This study did not only compare between clear aligners and braces in terms of comfort, but it actually studied the impact it had on the patient’s ‘quality of life’. The researchers took 60 patients (33 of which wore aligners) and asked them to keep a diary of their treatment.
The volunteers who wore aligners found that the impact of treatment on their quality of life was minimal. They also found that patients who wore aligners experienced significantly less pain-related issues than those who wore braces.
Orthodontic aligners help people to straighten their teeth more comfortably and discreetly than regular metal braces.
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