During the ASO AGM in March, ASOFRE Chair, Chris Theodosi, announced the winner of the 2021 Elsdon Storey Award for the most meritorious research paper.
This year it was awarded to Haylea Blundell. Originally from Victoria, Haylea relocated to Brisbane in 2018 to undertake her orthodontic training at the University of Queensland.
Last year, Haylea was selected as a Resident Student Scholar applicant at the 2020 American Association of Orthodontics Conference. This was cancelled due to coronavirus but she has been reselected for the 2021 AAO Resident Student Scholar Award, which they have renamed the William R Proffit Resident Student Scholar Award, and Haylea will be joining (virtually) the upcoming AAO meeting in Boston to speak about her research. She also won 3rd prize at the 2020 International Orthodontic Conference in Japan for her postgraduate research.
Haylea won the 2021 Elsdon Storey Award for her project “Predictability of overbite control with the Invisalign appliance” which has been accepted for publication in the October 2021 American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics.
A brief outline of Haylea’s research
Correcting the vertical dimension in orthodontics is challenging. Clear aligner therapy is becoming increasingly demanding by patients, however there is currently insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of clear aligners to correct a deep overbite.
ClinCheck® software (Align Technology®) is used by clinicians to treatment plan Invisalign® cases. The predicted outcomes of Invisalign® treatment using ClinCheck® have been questioned due to uncertainty of accuracy when compared with actual post-treatment outcomes.
Since the introduction of Invisalign® in 1998, there has been limited and conflicting evidence in the literature regarding the efficiency of this appliance in overbite correction. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate and determine the accuracy of Invisalign® in correcting deep overbite by comparing the predicted outcome from ClinCheck® to the actual post-treatment outcome. This was done based on the treatment of 42 adult patients.
Haylea’s research found that overbite reduction with the Invisalign® appliance lacks efficiency, where the Invisalign® appliance only expresses 39.2% of the prescribed overbite reduction on ClinCheck®. By quantifying any discrepancy between the predicted outcome and the clinically achieved outcome from a given ClinCheck® plan, it is hoped that clinicians will possess the knowledge to appropriately select cases for aligner treatment and to modify the predicted plan using independent scientific data for improved clinical outcomes.
"I would like to thank the ASOFRE for making my research possible. The funding received during my post-graduate training was greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank Dr Tony Weir, my primary supervisor for my research project, for his continuous support and guidance throughout my post-graduate training," Haylea said.
Since completing her studies, Haylea has returned to her home state of Victoria where she has established her own practice in Bendigo. She is also an Honorary Adjunct Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University where she completed her Masters of Dentistry.
When asked about her immediate plans, Haylea said, "Dr Tony Weir and I are currently extending my postgraduate research, looking at different samples and protocols to assess the efficiency of overbite reduction with the Invisalign® appliance. We aim to submit these for publication later this year."