How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Teeth?

Malocclusion, or teeth misalignment, is very common. In fact, there is some research that indicates that everyone has some level of malocclusion. Many people can live with theirs and never have any problems at all. Others have difficulties speaking, eating, etc and desire to resolve theirs.

Traditional metal braces were the most common option for a long time. However, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced in the late 1990s and have become a popular choice, especially among adults that need braces.

At Calm Dental, we offer a few orthodontic options, including Invisalign. In this article, we'll explain the average treatment time for this treatment, as well as what factors impact treatment time.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces for treating mild to moderate malocclusions. This is a system of clear aligners designed to be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. The aligners put even pressure on the teeth, gradually shifting them into their appropriate positions in the jawbone.

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Teeth?

The average timeline for Invisalign is 12 to 18 months. However, patients with very mild malocclusion may see full results in 6 months or less, while those with more severe malocclusions may require up to 24 months.

Factors That Cause Variation in Wear Time

The treatment timeline for Invisalign is different from one patient to another. There are several factors that can impact treatment time, including:

Type and Severity of Malocclusion

The first factor in determining your treatment timeline is the type and severity of your malocclusion. There are several types of malocclusion:

    • Gapped teeth
    • Overbite
    • Underbite
    • Crossbite
    • Open bite
    • Crowding

The milder your malocclusion, the fewer aligners will be recommended but the more severe your malocclusion, the more aligners you'll need.

Gaps in Teeth

Invisalign can be used for mild to moderate gaps between teeth. However, Invisalign is not effective for gaps larger than 6 mm.

Teeth Crowding

Invisalign can resolve most cases of mild to moderate crowding. However, if teeth are severely crowded and you have one or more teeth that is severely rotated, Invisalign is not the most appropriate option.

Patient Age

Invisalign clear aligners are an appropriate treatment for malocclusion at any age. Adult patients typically require more time because their jawbone is fully developed, and teeth are harder to move. Pediatric patients, on the other hand, are still developing, which means their teeth are easier to shift.

Patient Compliance

Invisalign aligners are designed to be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. If the aligners are not worn as directed, they will not work as expected.

Number of Aligners Required

The number of aligners required to resolve your malocclusion impacts your treatment time. The more aligners you need, the longer treatment will take.

Time Frame to Straighten Teeth with Traditional Braces

The average time frame for traditional braces is 12 to 24 months. However, like Invisalign, mild cases of malocclusion may take less time, while more complex ones may take longer.

How to Help Invisalign Work Best?

There are a few things that you can do to improve the effectiveness of Invisalign:

Wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day- or more. The longer you wear them, the more effective they can be.

Switch to a new set as directed. Your personalized treatment plan will outline how often your aligners should be switched out, usually every 2 to 3 weeks.

Consider getting attachments. If your malocclusion is on the moderate to severe end of the spectrum, consider attachments, which are "buttons" that are put on your teeth to hold the aligners in place.

Brush teeth before putting aligners in. This will reduce your risk of tooth decay, which can slow down treatment.

Clean aligners with clear liquid soap and rinse with cold water. Toothpaste can damage your aligners and hot water can warp them.

Visit the dentist as directed. You won't have to visit as often as you would with traditional metal braces, but you do need to keep your appointments to allow the dentist to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments.  

Is Invisalign worth it?

The cost of Invisalign is comparable to that of traditional braces. The team at Calm Dental believes that for patients who wish to discreetly resolve their mild to moderate malocclusion, Invisalign is worth the investment.

How Do I Know If Invisalign Is Right for Me?

There are several factors to consider when deciding if Invisalign is right for you:

  • Your malocclusion is not overly complex.
  • You have all of your adult teeth.
  • You are responsible.
  • You don't smoke
  • You practice proper oral hygiene

Are You Interested in Learning More about Invisalign Treatment at Calm Dental?

If you have mild to moderate malocclusion and are interested in learning more about Invisalign treatment, schedule your consultation today. The team at Calm Dental in Los Angeles can help you decide.

We are located at 525 S. Olive Street in Los Angeles. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8:40 AM to 6:00 PM. We are a boutique dental practice that provides high-quality dental care in a comfortable environment.

Invisalign FAQs

The team at Calm Dental knows that you have questions when it comes to your dental and orthodontic treatment options. We have the knowledge and experience to answer any questions or concerns that you have. Below are some of the most common questions we have gotten regarding Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign clear aligners are designed to treat a variety of mild to moderate malocclusions, including overbite.

Invisalign puts pressure on the teeth to shift them into their appropriate position. While you may have some discomfort when just starting treatment and after switching to a new set of aligners, you should never experience pain. If you are experiencing pain, you should speak with your dentist to find out why.

Invisalign clear aligners should be taken out any time you eat or drink, including when you chew gum.

Invisalign clear aligners are transparent, which means most people won't notice them when you are wearing them, even close up. However, smoking can cause the aligners to become stained, which means they will be visible.

Invisalign clear aligners should be removed when eating. If you eat while wearing the aligners, you could stain or damage them- which would impact your overall treatment timeline.

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