Orthodontic aligners undergo deformation during installation, producing an unexpected component of elastic restoring force that causes unintended changes in the dentition. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between strain and elastic recovery of the aligner. We distinguished the contributions to aligner deformation due to molding and installation by measuring the thickness distribution of an aligner after molding using micro-CT and tracking changes in grid patterns drawn on the sheet used to fabricate the aligner. The aligner was installed on a device that simulated canine movement. Although canine strain was quite strong around the cusp, and in premolar, it was observed mainly in their centers. Furthermore, after molding, thickness distribution of the aligner was found. But, it is no clear relationship between the thickness distribution and the strain distribution. Our method of analysis can help improve aligner design and establish molding method to deliver optimal orthodontic treatment.
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