The incidence of open gingival embrasures (OGE) in patients after fixed appliance treatment is relatively high, while there are no detailed reports on patients after clear aligner therapy. Also, no clinical studies with large sample size have investigated whether interproximal enamel reduction (IPR) can actually avoid OGE. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of OGE in adults after clear aligner therapy and to investigate the risk of OGE associated with IPR treatment and attachment design, focusing on the amount and distribution in mandibular anterior teeth.
Pre-treatment and post-treatment intraoral frontal photographs of 225 non-extraction patients were evaluated retrospectively for the occurrence and severity of OGE. The amount of IPR and the number of attachments in the anterior teeth from subjects after screening were recorded according to the first version of clear aligner software (Clincheck, San Jose, USA) and clinical medical documents. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the factors contributing to OGE.
The incidence of OGE in non-extraction patients after clear therapy between maxillary and mandibular central incisors was 25.7% and 40.3%, respectively. IPR was not associated with the occurrence of OGE but was associated with severity (P < 0.05). The number of attachments in the anterior teeth or central incisors was significantly related to the incidence of OGE (P < 0.05) but was not associated with severity.
A high rate of OGE occurs after clear aligner therapy. Clinicians should be aware of the application of IPR and the design of attachments during clear aligner therapy.

© 2023. The Author(s).