clear-aligner-stock-photoResearchers at Yale University found that complex multiple-jaw orthognathic procedures can be successfully performed on orthodontic patients treated with clear aligners. The study sought to evaluate preoperative outcomes and 3-dimensionally quantify postoperative edema in Invisalign patients undergoing triple-jaw orthographic procedures, and compare these patients with those treated with conventional fixed appliances.

The study appears in The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

The researchers conducted a retrospective chart review and 3-dimensional morphometric study of Invisalign patients undergoing triple-jaw surgery, while administering an identical assessment of demographically matched patients treated with conventional fixed appliances. The study included 33 patients with a mean age of 19.99 years—13 Invisalign patients and 20 conventional fixed appliances patients.

The study found no significant difference in operating time, concurrent extraction of teeth, fat grafting, duration of hospital stay, diet advancement, and use of narcotic analgesics between the two groups. Of the study’s 33 patients, 9 had sufficient 3-dimensional images for volumetric analysis—4 Invisalign and 5 conventional fixed appliances. The study further found no significant difference when comparing the two groups for postoperative edema.

As a result, the study’s authors state that preoperative and short-term clinical outcomes are not compromised when complex multiple-jaw orthognathic procedures are performed in clear aligner patients.