How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Teeth?

Teeth misalignment is as much of a dental concern today as it has always been. However, people’s approach towards solving this concern has changed – they have shifted from traditional (metal) braces to modern (invisible) ones. 

As more people opt for this modern alternative, they commonly ask: “How long does Invisalign take? “. It’s fair to be curious about the timeline of Invisalign treatment, as it helps people mentally prepare for what the treatment entails, thereby allowing them to opt for it with clear expectations.

In this blog, we’ll talk about the duration of invisalign treatment, the factors influencing this duration. But before that, we’ll discuss the basics of invisalign (including what it is, how it works, and its journey).

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign (a contraction of ‘invisible aligners’) refers to a specific brand of clear aligners, which are removable transparent devices used to correct teeth alignment and bite issues. As mentioned earlier, it’s a modern alternative to traditional metal braces specifically designed for people seeking a discreet (virtually invisible) means of correcting teeth alignment issues.

This brand of clear aligners is widely known for the specialised premium quality material (SmartTrack patented thermoplastic material) that it uses for the fabrication of aligners, with the aim of providing optimal comfort and effectiveness to the wearers. The brand also employs specialised methods for the fabrication of aligners that allows for exceptional precision in their fit, thereby increasing their stability and durability.

Being a modern treatment, Invisalign doesn’t only stand out in terms of its discreteness but also has an edge over traditional braces in terms of treatment efficiency. According to a study, invisalign treatment causes significant teeth movement in the first 3 months of the treatment. The study also claims invisalign patients to experience the results almost 6 months faster as compared to traditional braces wearers.

Who Can Benefit From Invisalign, And How Does It Work?

Invisalign works to solve a wide variety of teeth alignment issues (known as malocclusions), giving patients with varying dental goals their desired results following a customised treatment plan with high customer satisfaction. Generally, people having the following types of malocclusions can benefit from Invisalign treatment:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Overjet 
  • Crossjet
  • Teeth spacing
  • Teeth crowding 
  • Crooked Teeth

The treatment works by providing patients with a series of custom-made transparent aligners, each of which moves teeth to a pre-decided position by exerting gradual pressure on them. Each set of aligners in the series is replaced by the next every 1-2 weeks, with each set slowly shifting the teeth to the desired position. 

The Invisalign Journey Comprehensively Explained

The above-mentioned work of Invisalign obviously doesn’t happen by default – it needs to be employed and supervised by a highly skilled orthodontist who is specially trained to deal with the Invisalign technology. 

You’ll first have a consultation with a qualified orthodontist, who will assess your dental health, discuss your treatment goals and determine whether Invisalign is the right choice for you. Just like with dental implants, detailed 3D scans of your teeth are taken to help create a personalised treatment plan for you, including the fabrication of custom-made aligners. Once ready, you get your first set of aligners, which you’ll be required to wear for a set period of time before they’re replaced by the next set according to your orthodontist’s instructions. This process will continue until your desired results are achieved.

How Long Does Invisalign Take To Straighten Teeth?

We ended the last section stating that the invisalign process continues ‘until your desired results are achieved’ because there’s no ‘fixed’ timeline as to how long it’d take to correct your teeth. It majorly depends on the complexity of your case. 

On average, Invisalign treatment typically takes 12-18 months to complete. This means that people with moderate alignment/occlusion issues (such as those created by significant teeth overcrowding or spacing or mild bite misalignment) typically require 12-18 months for Invisalign to work.

The treatment duration gets further reduced if you have only a mild degree of misalignment (caused by slight crowding or small gaps between teeth), requiring as little as 6 months for the treatment to show results.

In severe cases, however, the treatment timeline may get lengthened and take upto 24 months. This is due to the additional time (and aligner sets) required to fix major teeth crowding, spacing or significant misalignment. 

What Are The Factors Affecting The Duration Of Invisalign Treatment?

Besides the complexity of the individual case (which is the primary determinant of the treatment duration, as we’ve just discussed above), there are other factors that might influence the timeline of your Invisalign treatment. These factors include:

  • Patient age – younger patients (teenagers and pre-teens) experience faster results due to their higher capacity to achieve bone remodelling and tooth shifting. Adults may require slightly higher treatment time owing to the less malleability of their bones.
  • Condition of the teeth – patients with initially healthy teeth (with no pre-existing decay or gum disease) are more likely to get their intended results on time as compared to patients with unhealthy teeth. If you have chipped teeth, you should consider getting porcelain veneers instead.
  • Patient compliance – patients need to wear the aligners as indicated by their orthodontist (20-22 hours per day for as many weeks as directed by your dentist). Otherwise, the treatment won’t work at the intended pace. They should only remove the aligners briefly for eating and drinking (other than water). Also, they should timely visit the dentist for regular checkups.
  • Treatment plan adherence – strict adherence to the oral hygiene treatment plan devised by your orthodontist is important for achieving on-time results. Any negligence regarding following the prescribed plan, either by the dentist or by the patient, will result in additional treatment time.

Patients who positively fulfil all the above mentioned factors will get their treatment results right on time, receiving a smooth and effective invisalign teeth straightening experience.

Conclusion 

Invisalign treatment may typically take anywhere from 12-18 months to show results in moderate cases of misalignment, and this duration may shorten or lengthen when the misalignment is mild or severe, respectively. The treatment duration also depends on the patient’s age, patient’s initial teeth condition, patient compliance, and degree of adherence to the treatment plan.

For more details about the Invisalign treatment, book a FREE consultation with Seattle Implant Clinic, a premium dental practice located in Seattle, WA. We have a team of expert orthodontists specially trained in Invisalign who will craft perfectly customised treatment plans to transform your desired smile!

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