So, how long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth, I hear you ask. The answer is simple: it depends on the person. There are so many extenuating factors when it comes to straightening teeth, like how severely the teeth are misaligned, how well the patient adheres to their treatment plan and many more. Due to these factors being different for every person, the timeline for Invisalign will be different.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a form of clear aligner that is becoming more popular as an alternative to typical metal braces. The clear aligners are custom-made to each patient, and they work to fix teeth misalignments, along with other orthodontic issues. These aligners are constructed from a mixture of BPA-free plastics, and they use pressure to gradually straighten teeth.
Invisalign is professionally fitted and approved by the Australian Dental Association and is not to be confused with some of the mail-order or DIY consumer orthodontics. These DIY products are considered to be risky and can lead to permanent damage to the teeth and gums.
The Complete Treatment Procedure for Invisalign
The Invisalign treatment plan consists of several removable aligners worn in incremental sequence. You and your orthodontist will develop a treatment plan that will include:
- Deciding if you are a candidate for Invisalign.
- A 3D scan of your mouth and teeth.
- Photographs of your mouth and teeth.
- A recommendation for treatment.
If it is decided that this treatment would work well for you, your dentist will create a 3D model of your teeth to make the custom aligners. This will allow the orthodontist to see which teeth need to be moved.
Each aligner will move your teeth up to 0.33 millimetres before the next aligner will need to be used. This simply means that you should expect to move onto the next aligner after one to two weeks. If you are keen to make the fastest progress possible, there are applications for iOS and Android that allow you to scan your teeth to see if you are ready for the next aligner.
The orthodontist will oversee the majority of this process, but that doesn’t mean that you do not have a responsibility to ensure the success of the treatment. You have to fully commit to the plan and wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours every day, only removing them for short periods to eat and brush or floss your teeth.
How Long Does Invisalign Take To Straighten Teeth?
As mentioned previously, the amount of time that Invisalign takes to straighten teeth will be specific to each case. Typically, Invisalign will take less than two years to fix any issues that the patient might have. In cases that are towards the mild end of the spectrum, it can take just six months to correct the problems.
This is a general timeline, with mild corrections taking around six months, but more complicated issues like malocclusion or moderate crowding will generally be closer to the two-year mark. Serious orthodontic problems like severe overcrowding might be too advanced for Invisalign altogether, and the patient will have no choice but to opt for traditional braces or another form of treatment.
Invisalign uses multiple clear plastic aligners to gradually align teeth. This is why the severity of the orthodontic issue directly affects the timeline of the treatment. The aligners have to be worn more than 20 hours a day and patients are permitted to remove them to eat, brush and floss their teeth only, to achieve the fastest alignment possible. So, if the question “How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth?” is important to you, be sure to wear the aligners as much as possible.
How Do I Know Invisalign Is Right for Me?
If you are unhappy with your teeth or smile, due to crowded, gapped, or crooked teeth, this can affect your confidence and oral health. Invisalign can fix these orthodontic issues, so you might be wondering if it is the right choice for you.
Invisalign is an excellent alternative to traditional metal or ceramic braces. They are significantly more discreet, are more comfortable to wear every day and in many cases, they are just as effective at straightening teeth like metal braces. However, Invisalign is not an option for everyone. You have to set up a consultation with your orthodontist if you are considering going down this route. They will examine your teeth to see if you are eligible for Invisalign and from there you can create a treatment plan.
There are a few factors that the orthodontist will look at to determine if Invisalign can help you with your specific situation. You can use the following questions as a checklist to determine if Invisalign is a viable option for you.
What Is the Condition of Your Smile?
Invisalign is effective at straightening underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, open bites, crowded teeth and many other orthodontic problems. However, they can only tackle issues on the mild to moderate end of the scale. If you have severe crowding, underbite or overbite, Invisalign might not be able to help.
How Old Are You?
Invisalign is not suitable for children under the age of 13. This is because they are still growing, and their teeth are constantly moving around in their jaw, making it extremely difficult to put together an Invisalign plan that will work.
Are You Serious About Straightening Your Teeth?
You can take Invisalign aligners out and while this is very convenient for eating and oral health, it is easy to forget to put them back in or lose them entirely. They also need to be worn upwards of 20 hours every day, to work properly. If they are not worn for the appropriate amount of time it can significantly lengthen the treatment plan and end up costing more money.
Invisalign is a great option for those who want a discreet treatment option for mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Bear in mind that after an Invisalign treatment plan, you will have to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in their new position. This is because teeth like to shift back to their original position once aligned.
If you have been wondering how long Invisalign takes to straighten teeth and are looking to book a consultation to discuss your options, Boon Dental has a team of experts who will be happy to help. You can book a consultation on our website.