Invisalign® is a transparent way patients may be able to straighten their teeth if they are concerned about the appearance of metal braces. Today, our Langley orthodontists discuss the factors that can impact how long your Invisalign® treatment will take.
Invisalign® is a series of clear plastic aligners that straighten teeth by gradually shifting them in tiny increments over a set time frame. In this way, they're just like metal braces, but they have the added benefit of being far less obvious when worn.
For adults, the average duration of Invisalign® treatment is roughly a year, however, it usually takes a bit longer for teens. But, each patient is different and there are a variety of factors that could impact the duration of your own Invisalign® treatment.
How Complex Your Misalignment Is
If your teeth are severely misaligned, it could take longer to straighten them with clear aligners. This is the case with braces too, but with Invisalign®, the severity of your misalignment will also determine how many aligners you get with your treatment plan.
How Many Aligners You Have in Your Series
Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of aligners and each set of aligners has to be changed for the next one about every 2 weeks. If you already know how many aligners there are in your series, then you just need to do some simple math to find out how long your treatment will take:
Let’s assume you have 16 sets of aligners.
You have to switch them out every two weeks, so that’s two sets of aligners each month.
16 divided by 2 is 8, therefore, your treatment will take 8 months.
The Compliance You Have With Your Treatment
The choices you make throughout your treatment process will have a key role in how long it ends up taking. At the start of your treatment, your orthodontist will estimate how long it should take. To help ensure treatment goes according to plan (and doesn't take longer than it should), remember to wear your aligners as prescribed.
During your Invisalign® treatment, you must wear your aligners full time every day. That means approximately 22 hours a day of aligner wear.
Doing this will ensure that your treatment is not delayed. If you leave your aligners out for too long, or too often, your teeth may shift back out of position, resulting in delays and setbacks. Thus, be sure to remove your aligners only to eat, brush and floss, and don’t forget to put them back in when you're done!
How Long It Takes To See Results
The majority of patients start noticing results from their Invisalign® treatment after approximately 4 to 6 weeks. It can be helpful to take a picture of your smile each week so that you can get a better idea of how much your teeth are moving.