Invisalign can take between 12 and 18 months on average, but this time frame varies from one person to another. The Invisalign treatment time, like traditional metal braces, depends on whether there is a complex orthodontic issue to treat or a mild orthodontic case.
At your initial consultation, your orthodontist explains the treatment time and how long you should wear aligners to complete your teeth straightening process.
Depending on your individual needs and your type of malocclusion, orthodontics with Invisalign may take as little as 6 months. But for more complex cases of teeth imperfections, this can take longer and your treatment can last 2 or even more years because of the desired tooth movements needed for straighter teeth and a perfect-looking smile.
Read on to find out the answers to the length of Invisalign treatment, as well as the possible factors that impact your treatment timescale.
How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth?
As orthodontics is different for each person, talking about the precise time to complete Invisalign may not sound so certain. And only you get the answer by visiting your orthodontist once a close inspection is done on your teeth.
While most treatment plans with Invisalign may last from 12 to 18 months, these are just some predictions and may not apply to everyone. Invisalign treatment time can take quicker for some minor misalignment and tooth irregularities, and you may see results in 6 months. Or you may need to wait 2 years before seeing your desired results due to more teeth complexities you have. But it may take more or less time since the treatment varies greatly case by case.
Invisalign is orthodontics, and we know orthodontics is not one time for all. Regardless of whether you are wearing braces or Invisalign aligners for your treatment, you should know something. Orthodontics requires time, patience, and most importantly commitment. When you visit your orthodontist, they create your treatment plan and predict the timeframe for you.
But there are more things to know and more factors to consider. Let’s explain.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign works by applying pressures through aligner trays that you wear over your teeth. You must wear your aligners for 22 hours per day for effective tooth movement to take place, and only remove them when eating or brushing your teeth. Therefore, skipping more hours of wear time for your Invisalign daily can slow down your treatment. Keep up with the recommended 22 hours and get faster results accordingly.
Some key facts about Invisalign
Invisalign is an effective and great orthodontic solution which fixes a wide range of malocclusion types:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Teeth overcrowding
- Bite issues (overbite, open bite, and underbite)
Invisalign aligners are much more comfortable and less painful than traditional metal braces. They are esthetic and invisible on teeth and don’t get attention. Unlike traditional braces which should be fixed in your mouth, Invisalign clear aligners are removable. So, you will have an easier time brushing your teeth. This increases the improved quality of oral hygiene during your treatment if you follow daily brushing and flossing.
To get your Invisalign aligners, your orthodontist should first take a 3-D model of your teeth using the iTero scanner. Next, they visualize your dental condition in the ClinCheck® software. You may get surprised to notice the existing orthodontic problems you have for the first time on the computer screen.
What is more, you will be happy to see that your orthodontist shows you the ultimate new smile that is about to be achieved. Depending on your case, a number of Invisalign plastic aligner series are made. You should wear each series in the correct sequence and time to help get the misaligned teeth to shift back to their normal places.
How many Invisalign aligner trays do I need to wear?
Invisalign aligners exert constant and gradual pressures over a specific period of time. Each set of aligners is designed to move teeth to reach that final straighter teeth and attractive smile planned by your orthodontist.
You might need 20-30 sets of aligners on average. But each person’s treatment is unique to their needs and the number of aligner trays to wear varies, too.
For example, if you have a milder treatment and minimal teeth straightening, chances are that 10-20 sets of aligners are prescribed. And in case of the need for an extended treatment and more complex tooth movements, you may be given a higher number of aligner sets, like 40 or 50 sets of aligners.
How long do I have to wear each Invisalign aligner tray?
You should switch to the new set of aligners every 1-2 weeks or according to what your dentist recommends.
Invisalign aligners are made of their proprietary SmartTrack® material system. This plastic allows for delivering constant tooth moving force in a 14-day period. Change your aligner trays for the newer ones to continue each stage of treatment on time. Follow your orthodontist’s prescribed schedule to get faster, more effective, and optimal results.
What Invisalign does to close gaps, treat crowded teeth, and fix bite problems in a shorter time?
Gaps, also called diastema, overcrowded teeth, and bite issues like open bite, crossbite, and underbite can all impact your smile appearance, but they are part of orthodontics to treat. After all, you visit an orthodontist to get straighter teeth because of these orthodontic problems and not always for some minor crookedness and irregularities.
One of the biggest game-changing factors with Invisalign is its SmartFroce® attachment design. Attachments, also called buttons, are small plastic bumps. They are designed and placed on your aligners to enhance specific tooth movements. Attachments also help the aligner trays grip firmly on your teeth to get teeth to displace when there is a need for extra force and pressure.
Obviously, Invisalign aligners will take less time and a few months to fix milder teeth overcrowding, gaps between the teeth, and bite issues. And for more severe cases, Invisalign treatment can take longer, like in any orthodontics.
Engineers and orthodontists at Align Technology (Invisalign) were wondering how to displace and rotate teeth that may be timely or even impossible with a regular aligner design. This is why they came up with computer-generated designs of attachments on specific areas on aligners to guide force and grip each tooth into alignment.
SmartForce® attachments also decrease the need for a higher number of aligners to straighten teeth in these specific situations.
How to make my Invisalign treatment time as fast as possible?
There are some simple tips that you should do if you want to get faster, much more effective, and safer treatment with your Invisalign.
- Wear the aligners for the recommended 22 hours, and follow your orthodontist’s instructions on minimum removal or maximum wear time.
- If you regularly remove aligners and leave them out for more than 4 hours, your whole treatment cannot go as planned. Therefore, treatment gets longer, additional aligner trays may be needed, and your cost can increase.
- Change your aligners on the right date and get the new aligners on time to make sure your progress is going ahead without any interruptions.
- Brush your teeth and floss daily. Routine oral hygiene not only helps teeth stay in good health but fits trays better over your clean teeth.
- Ensure that you visit your dentist on the scheduled appointments. This is to monitor the amount of progress and that aligner trays are working properly and accurately. Also, your teeth, gums, and entire mouth can be checked for any health issues.
- Be patient and stay committed. Invisalign aligners are not like traditional braces which are fixed, so it’s your responsibility to keep them on as long as you can. The more commitment and cooperation, the shorter the treatment to get that desired smile. Thus, if you want on-time, optimal, and great results, you have to be patient till the end of the treatment and follow all of your orthodontist’s guides and tips.
- No matter how old or young you are, Invisalign, like any orthodontics method, requires compliance with rules. Adults can understandably do what they have been told to, for they need their new smile as soon as possible. Children may find it hard to cooperate, so parents should be careful and supervise their children while they are away.