Clinical outcomes of lingual orthodontic treatment: a systematic review

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Abstract

Objectives:

To assess the available evidence on the effectiveness of lingual orthodontic treatment and related clinical parameters through a systematic review of relevant studies.

Materials and methods:

Eligible clinical studies published from January 2000 to March 2015 were identified through electronic (five major databases) and hand searches. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool for prospective studies and a specially designed tool for retrospective studies.

Results:

From the 3734 articles identified by the search, after application of specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, 16 papers were included in the study. Eleven studies were retrospective, four were prospective, and only one was a RCT. In detail, six studies evaluated differences of the treatment outcome from the pre-treatment set-up prediction, two studies evaluated the effect of treatment on periodontal and microbial parameters, and 10 studies assessed various clinical treatment related parameters. Despite several promising findings, the quality of evidence supporting them was found to be low in most cases.

Conclusions:

This systematic review showed encouraging results on the clinical outcome of lingual orthodontic treatment, especially in regards to the achievement of individualized treatment goals and the reduction of decalcifications on the bonded surfaces of the teeth. However, additional well-designed prospective clinical trials with larger samples are needed to confirm those findings. Several aspects of lingual orthodontic treatment were difficult to be conclusively evaluated due to the study design, the heterogeneity, the small samples sizes, and the high risk of bias seen in the majority of the included studies.

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