Instagram and Clear Aligner Therapy: A Content Analysis of Patient Perspectives.

 Published:May 20, 2024DOI:



The popularity of clear aligner treatment (CAT) has been on the rise. Improving treatment satisfaction with CAT requires an in-depth understanding of the patient's perspectives. Nowadays, patients use social media to share authentic treatment experiences. This study aimed to explore the content of CAT-related Instagram posts before, during, and after CAT.

Materials and Methods

This study used mixed quantitative and qualitative methods. A social media monitoring software, AwarioTM, was used to collect Instagram CAT-related posts over a 4-week period and categorize them as positive, negative, and neutral. Three investigators manually reviewed this categorization. The sentiments of posts before, during, and after treatment were compared using Chi-square. Qualitative analysis of post content was carried out to extract themes relevant to patient experiences.


A total of 2015 posts were included in the analysis, including posts before (n=422), during treatment (n=1503), and after CAT (n=90). The majority (90%) of posts before CAT were positive in sentiment. In contrast, there were more negative than positive posts during CAT (54.8% and 45.2% respectively). Among notable sources of negative sentiment were pain, negative esthetic appearance of attachments, and sleep difficulties. While 60% of post-treatment posts contained positive sentiments about treatment outcomes and the patient-clinician relationship, 40% were negative and focused on the length of treatment being longer than expected.


High expectations among the public are prevalent before using CAT. Discrepant negative sentiments are revealed during treatment due to pain, attachments, sleep difficulties, and other factors. Patients reflect negatively on the treatment duration after the treatment is concluded. Clinicians should focus on these patient perceptions when counseling them before and during CAT.