Invisalign® is a series of clear plastic aligners that are used to gradually straighten teeth over several months. In this regard, they are similar to metal braces, but they have the added advantage of being far less noticeable to others when worn.
The average Invisalign treatment course lasts about a year for adults and slightly longer for teens. However, each patient is unique, and a variety of factors can affect the length of your Invisalign treatment.
The Severity of Your Misalignment
If your teeth are severely misaligned, straightening them with Invisalign will take longer. This is true for braces as well, but with Invisalign, the severity of your misalignment also dictates the number of aligners required for treatment.
The Number of Aligners in Your Series
Invisalign treatment consists of a series of aligners that must be switched out every other week or so, as prescribed by your dentist. If you already know how many aligners are in your series, all you need to do is some simple math to determine the duration of your treatment.
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, so that means your treatment will take 8 months.
Your Compliance to Treatment
Your choices throughout your treatment will have a significant impact on how long it takes. Your dentist will estimate the length of time treatment will take at the start of the process. To ensure that treatment proceeds as planned (and does not take longer than necessary), be sure to wear your aligners exactly as prescribed by your dentist.
You must wear your aligners full-time every day during your Invisalign treatment. This means that your aligners must be worn for approximately 22 hours per day.
This will prevent your treatment from being prolonged. If you leave your aligners out for an extended time or remove them frequently, your teeth may shift back into their original positions, causing delays and setbacks. As a result, only remove your aligners to eat, brush, and floss... and don't forget to replace them when you're finished.
How long before I start noticing results?
Around the four to six-week mark, the majority of patients begin to see results from their Invisalign treatment. Take a picture of your smile each week to get a better sense of how much your teeth are moving.