PDF: Twenty years of clear aligner therapy: a bibliometric analysis (2002-2022)

Clear aligner (CA) therapy has become popular worldwide but there is little research in the area from the perspective of bibliometrics.

The present study aimed to identify the most impactful studies on CA over its 20 years of publishing since 2002. 

The possibility of using a clear overlay orthodontic appliance was first introduced in 1946 by Kesling. 

In 1999, Align Technology® (Santa Clara, California) integrated modern technology to develop the clear aligner treatment (CAT) protocol. 

Because of the improved aesthetics and comfort, increasing numbers of patients prefer CAT over conventional fixed appliances.

Since its introduction, clear aligner (CA) therapy has undergone continuous adjustment and progress, and worldwide, over 14 million patients have been treated using the Invisalign appliance. 

Recently, over 600 papers associated with clear aligner (CA) therapy have been published in the Web of Science Core Collection database. 

It is meaningful to categorise substantial evidence from massive databases so that researchers may establish innovative outlines of investigation. 

Bibliometrics has been commonly used to evaluate scientific research both quantitatively and qualitatively. 

In line with previous studies, the present review aims to perform a bibliometric analysis of CA therapy throughout its 20 years of publishing in the scientific literature. 

According to current knowledge and based on the collected evidence, this is the first bibliometric study of trends related to invisible appliance research. 

It is expected that the results will identify CA focused research and therefore benefit the development of national and institutional research strategies. 

In addition, the derived data or evidence can be used to examine the scientific history of investigative outputs and recognise potential future investigative pathways and prospects for collaboration. 

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