Cone-beam computed tomographic evaluation of the long-term effects of orthodontic retainers on marginal bone levels

 (Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2017;151:74-81)

Fixed retainers are widely used after orthodontic treatment, sometimes for extended periods, despite insufficient knowledge of their possible long-term adverse effects on the periodontium. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether bonded orthodontic retainers have an adverse long-term effect on the marginal bone levels of the mandibular front teeth. Methods: The study included 62 consecutive patients in 3 groups: (1) patients who underwent orthodontic treatment and wore a fixed retainer for 10 years, (2) patients who underwent orthodontic treatment but did not have a fixed retainer, and (3) untreated controls. The marginal bone levels were measured by cone-beam computed tomography 10 years after treatment. Additionally, multivariate data analysis was used to analyze possible correlations between the marginal bone levels at 10 years and the variables obtained from the study casts and profile radiographs.

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