A priori registration of randomized clinical trials is crucial to the transparency and credibility of their findings. Aim of this study was to assess the frequency with which registered and completed randomized trials in orthodontics are published. We searched ClinicalTrials.gov and ISRCTN for registered randomized clinical trials in orthodontics that had been completed up to January 2017 and judged the publication status and date of registered trials using a systematic protocol. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, chi-square or Fisher exact tests, and Kaplan-Meier survival estimates. From the 266 orthodontic trials registered up to January 2017, 80 trials had been completed and included in the present study. Among these 80 included trials, the majority (76%) were registered retrospectively, while only 33 (41%) were published at the time. The median time from completion to publication was 20.1 months (interquartile range: 9.1 to 31.6 months), while survival analysis indicated that less than 10% of the trials were published after 5 years from their completion. Finally, 22 (28%) of completed trials remain unpublished even after 5 years from their completion. Publication rates of registered randomized trials in orthodontics remained low, even 5 years after their completion date.