Are you considering Invisalign for yourself or your child? Invisalign is an alternative orthodontic treatment to braces that is designed to straighten teeth and correct bite alignment. It achieves similar results as braces through a different method, using clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth and gradually shift them into proper position. This is quite a bit different from traditional braces, which typically results in a lot of questions from patients and parents.
One of the most common questions is: how long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth? Here’s what you can expect in terms of treatment duration.
Average Treatment Time for Invisalign
The length of treatment varies from one patient to another, but will typically fall somewhere within the range of 6 to 20 months. Treatment time may be shorter for some or longer for others, depending on a variety of factors, such as case severity. But you can most likely have a straighter smile in less than 2 years when you decide to undergo Invisalign treatment.
How Does the Length of Treatment Compare to Braces?
On average a patient will need to wear braces somewhere between 1 and 3 years with an overall average of 2 years. Invisalign is not necessarily a shorter treatment option for every patient, but we find teeth can correct as fast, if not faster, with Invisalign provided we have excellent wear. There are certain circumstances that can increase or decrease the length of time you will need to wear either braces or Invisalign to achieve the desired results.
What Factors Affect the Length of Orthodontic Treatment?
The following are the biggest influences on the length of Invisalign treatment:
- Extent of the Corrections Needed. The further your teeth will need to be shifted in order to be in proper alignment, the longer your treatment will take. Minor orthodontic issues can be treated on the shorter end of the time range, but major issues may extend your treatment time to the far end of the range.
- How Much You Wear Your Aligners. It is recommended that you wear your Invisalign aligners 22 hours per day. If you fail to wear your aligners often enough your treatment will take longer, or may not work at all.
- Keeping Up With Scheduled Appointments. It is important to go to your scheduled appointments for monitoring during your treatment. Missing appointments or rescheduling can extend your treatment time.
- How Well You Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions. A key element to the length of your treatment is following your orthodontist’s instructions. You will typically wear each of your aligners for about 2 weeks before switching to the next. But if you aren’t making progress according to your goals your orthodontist may want to adjust that timeframe. It is important to follow instructions carefully to avoid a longer treatment duration.
- Your Age. There’s a good reason why orthodontic treatment is typically done during adolescence. At this stage of growth and development you tend to experience significant growth spurts, which allow your teeth and jaw to be more easily shifted and molded into the desired position. Adults may find that treatment takes longer for them because their teeth are not as easily moved.
- Whether or Not You Had Prior Orthodontic Treatment. Interceptive orthodontics is the term for any treatment that is done at an early age (starting at or before age 7) to correct the teeth or bite. Early orthodontic treatment can correct some of your teeth alignment issues, thus shortening the overall length of your time in braces or Invisalign.
Why Should I Receive Invisalign Treatment From an Orthodontist?
Many dental offices are offering Invisalign treatment these days. They allow the computer software to do the majority of the treatment diagnosis and planning. An orthodontist has specialized training in how teeth move, and years of experience in correcting bites. They can customize your treatment to meet your specific needs giving you the best possible results.
Interested in Invisalign? Andover Orthodontics is a Certified Provider
If you’re looking for an Invisalign provider, Andover Orthodontics has the necessary training and expertise to ensure the treatment is administered properly for faster, more effective results.