Invisalign is a common appliance that many people turn to for straighter teeth.
But how long does it take to work?
It takes, on average, less than 2 years for the people who use Invisalign to see results, and it can take as quickly as 6 months. Of course, every smile is different, and it may take more or less time, depending on what you need. Invisalign aligner treatment time is directly related to the complexity of the issue you want to address.
Read on to learn more about what might cause a longer wait for Invisalign results, as well as alternative teeth-straightening methods provided by an orthodontist.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign is a type of removable aligner that uses plastic trays to realign your teeth slowly. The trays are worn 20 to 22 hours per day, only being removed for eating and brushing your teeth.
These Invisalign aligner trays can be found in both orthodontists and specially trained dentist’s offices. Your doctor will take special 3-D images of your mouth or plaster moulds of your mouth at your initial visit.
These will then be used to create Invisalign trays for your teeth.
What types of things affect treatment time?
While some people who use Invisalign aligners may be finished with their better smile treatments in 6 months, it can take up to a couple of years.
There are a few different factors that may increase your treatment time:
The type of occlusion or spacing you have
Invisalign can be a great solution if you have the following orthodontic issues:
- Overbite: your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth
- Underbite: your lower teeth extend past your upper teeth
- Crowding: if you have a smaller jaw, your teeth may become crowded or crooked
- Gap: you have larger spaces between your teeth
The type of spacing or crowding issue you have will determine how long you’ll need to wear Invisalign to get the results you want. Your orthodontist or dentist can give you a better time estimate for your specific case.
When you’re younger, your teeth tend to be easier to realign. This is why wearing braces is so common among middle and high school students.
Does that mean that adults can’t straighten teeth? No! It just means that it takes a little longer for most patients, depending on your age.
How compliant you are with your treatment plan
Another thing that may affect your orthodontic treatment time is how closely you follow the treatment plan. Invisalign aligner trays are designed to move one tooth at a time.
This means that once one tooth is aligned and it’s time to move on to the next aligner, you’ll have to switch trays. There’s usually a set schedule for this, and if you don’t follow it, undergoing treatment will take longer.
Alternatives to Invisalign
If wearing and switching plastic trays doesn’t work for you, or the treatment period takes too long, you have other attractive alternative options.
Traditional metal braces sometimes take less time, as do lingual braces. They may not be as aesthetically pleasing, but they often work faster. Talk to your orthodontist about a professional opinion on them.
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