Evaluation of 3 retention protocols using the American Board of Orthodontics cast and radiograph evaluation


      The purpose of this study was to quantify tooth movement among different retention protocols after the orthodontic appliances were removed.


      A total of 90 patients were evaluated using the American Board of Orthodontics discrepancy index and the cast and radiograph evaluation at debond and the 1-year recall. These patients were equally divided into 3 retention protocols: upper Hawley/lower Hawley, upper Hawley/lower bonded, and upper Essix/lower bonded. The patients were then equally grouped by extraction or nonextraction treatment and case complexity. Paired t tests were used to compare the paired sample means. Analysis of variance tests were used to compare the means for more than 2 groups. A 2-sided 0.05 alpha level was used to define statistical significance.


      The upper Hawley/lower bonded showed the greatest amount of settling, and the upper Essix/lower bonded had the least settling, but these differences were statistically insignificant. The differences between the extraction and nonextraction treatments were not significant. The group with low discrepancy index scores showed significantly more settling than did the group with high discrepancy index scores.


      The cast and radiograph evaluation variables that improved overall were marginal ridges, overjet, occlusal contacts, interproximal contacts, root angulation, and total cast and radiograph score. The cast and radiograph evaluation variables that worsened were alignment/rotation, buccolingual inclination, and occlusal relationship. Extraction or nonextraction treatment led to no real difference in settling. The discrepancy index, or initial case complexity, was the greatest factor in determining the improvement of occlusion or settling during the retention phase.
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