Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth and align the bite. It also improves the appearance of your smile by closing gaps between teeth and making the teeth look more uniform. The biggest benefit of Invisalign is that the aligners are made of clear plastic that is virtually invisible. You can straighten your teeth discreetly and comfortably.
If you’re considering Invisalign treatment, you probably have some questions, such as: how long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth? Here’s what you can expect in terms of treatment duration with Invisalign.
Average Treatment Length for Invisalign
The average length of treatment for Invisalign is about 12 months. Most people’s treatment time will fall somewhere within the range of 6-18 months, with 24 months being the longest. Invisalign typically takes less time than braces to completely straighten the teeth and align the bite so that the top and bottom teeth meet together properly.
How Invisalign Works
To understand the length of Invisalign treatment, it helps to know how the process works. Here’s a step by step overview of Invisalign treatment.
- Consultation. The first step is always a consultation to discuss the details of Invisalign treatment to determine whether or not this may be something you would like to try.
- Evaluation. The next step is an evaluation of your teeth and jaw to determine whether or not you are a candidate for Invisalign. Not all orthodontic problems can be corrected with Invisalign, but many common issues can.
- Digital Impressions. If you are a candidate for Invisalign, digital images called impressions will be made of your teeth that are entered into a computer program.
- Designing your treatment plan. Invisalign software analyzes the images of your teeth and designs a customized treatment plan to shift your teeth into proper alignment over time. The dentist will look over the plan and make any necessary adjustments before submitting it.
- Creating your aligners. The treatment plan is submitted to a lab that creates your aligners. You’ll be notified by your dentist when they are received so you can go in for your first fitting.
- Wearing your aligners. You’ll be given a set of aligners to wear in a specific order for about 2 weeks each. The aligners are made of clear plastic that fits snugly against your teeth to gradually shift your teeth into the correct position. Your treatment time begins when you start wearing the first aligner and ends when you finish wearing the last one.
- Maintaining your results. Once you’ve gone through all of your aligners your treatment should be complete and you’ll move into the retention phase.
Factors That Affect the Length of Invisalign Treatment
Now that you know how Invisalign works, you can understand the various factors that may affect the length of your treatment:
- The current position of your teeth. The extent of the orthodontic issues currently present will affect how long your treatment takes. The further the teeth need to be moved, the longer it takes to get them into the correct position.
- How much you wear your aligners. You should wear your aligners for no less than 22 hours a day. That gives you 2 hours where you can take them out for eating and dental hygiene practices each day.
- How well you follow your treatment instructions. You will be given basic instructions on how and when to wear your aligners. As long as you follow those instructions and wear your aligners in order, you should complete your treatment in the predicted amount of time.
Barkoff Dental Provides Invisalign Treatment
With advanced Invisalign technology, dentists can now offer Invisalign without referring you to an orthodontist. At Barkoff Dental, the average Invisalign treatment time is 5-8 months, meaning there is a good chance you can have a straighter smile in less than a year.