Scalloped cut Aligners vs Straight cut Aligners

Historically, orthodontic treatment for straightening teeth was done using metallic or ceramic brackets and wires which had to be changed every month or so. Dentistry has come a long way from there and revolutionized by leaps and bounds. No more do you need bulky metal braces or painful retainers needing constant adjustments, to get your teeth straightened. Clear aligners have eliminated the need of being a “metal mouth”. They are not only aesthetic but also convenient, comfortable, and hassle-free for patients, as compared to conventional orthodontic therapy.


Patients prefer clear aligners


Patients prefer clear aligners over conventional orthodontic treatment any day, despite their drawbacks. One of the greatest drawbacks with conventional clear aligners is the gingival margins of the aligners being excessively flexible do not generate sufficient force to exert orthodontic movement. The gingival margin design of the clear aligner plays a vital role in determining the outcome of the treatment. Research has found that trimming the aligners differently can have a significant impact on the fit and retention of aligners and thus the outcome of treatment. While each aligner needs to be adjusted according to the patient’s individual needs, the best trim line technique if applied properly can lead to a better treatment experience. Clear aligner should seat completely on insertion and be properly anchored to the dental arch without any dislodgement.


Scalloped vs. straight cut


Aligners can be of scalloped cut or straight cut design, mainly. Scalloped cut aligners are ones that are trimmed along the gingival scalloping, that is they are trimmed to follow the gumline peaks in between teeth. Straight cut aligners are trimmed at the gingival zenith. Studies suggest that straight-cut aligners are twice as retentive as scalloped cut ones. Trimming the aligners differently has been shown to have a positive effect than adding or removing engagers. Studies have shown that for clear aligners without attachments, the straight cut 2 mm from the margins was about twice as retentive as the scalloped cut. For clear aligners with attachments, the straight cut 2 mm from the margins was found to be over four times as retentive as the scalloped cut!


With the straight cut aligners, the edge of the aligner is concealed under the lip during use, making them slightly more discreet. This helps to increase the effectiveness of the aligners as an orthodontic force must be placed on the incisal edge as well as the gingival marginal for proper orthodontic movement and preventing tipping of teeth. They are also more comfortable as they do not impinge on the unattached gingiva.


We at K Line Europe, offer clear aligners of both types straight-cut and scalloped cut.

So, whichever material you choose for your patients, we will be happy to cater to your treatment needs because we at K Line, want nothing more than seeing your patients smile wide and bright!