So how long does Invisalign take to straighten your teeth? The short answer is that it depends. Everyone’s teeth straightening journey is different, depending on the severity of the case, how well you follow your treatment plan, and other factors. Because so many things can impact your teeth straightening timeframe, it’s impossible to say exactly how long Invisalign will take in your case.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that is gaining popularity as an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces. It is an orthodontic treatment that uses custom-made transparent aligner trays to fix misaligned teeth and other orthodontic issues. The custom-made plastic trays are made from a blend of BPA-free plastic and apply gentle pressure to give you straighter teeth and a beautiful smile.
How Is Invisalign Different To Traditional Braces?
Like traditional braces, Invisalign can treat mild to moderate dental issues to improve your smile and oral health. They can be overbites, underbites, and crossbites. However, there are some major differences between these two orthodontic treatments.
Invisalign is almost invisible and hardly noticeable, while regular braces are clearly visible. Invisalign aligner trays are made from transparent plastic, while regular braces are made up of metal brackets and glued to the teeth. Furthermore, these metal brackets are tied together with wires and tiny elastic bands to fix your teeth.
The Invisalign aligner trays are removable and can be taken out when eating, which means you don’t have to make major changes to your diet. It is also recommended to take them out and brush and floss to maintain good oral health. Standard metal braces are not removable and you may not be able to eat certain types of food. Crunchy foods, especially, can break the thin metal wires and certain foods can get stuck in metal braces, which makes it hard to clean.
Both Invisalign and traditional braces can be uncomfortable and painful. However, Invisalign users have reported fewer mouth and gum problems than traditional braces users. Invisalign uses a special type of plastic that is molded to fit a patient’s teeth, unlike metal braces with metal wires that can snap and cut the inside of the cheeks.
Check Out: Difference Between invisalign and Braces
How Long Does Invisalign Take To Straighten Your Teeth
Every smile is different and the duration of treatment will depend on your particular case. On average, Invisalign may take less than 2 years to correct any orthodontic issues you may need to be fixed. In some cases, it may take a mere 6 months to lead to a beautiful smile transformation.
Do note that mild corrections can be done in 6 months, but more complex cases, such as crowded teeth or malocclusion, may take the longest time. That being said, some severe cases of overcrowding and other orthodontic issues may be too complicated for Invisalign to treat and the orthodontist may recommend traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments.
Invisalign works by using custom-made plastic trays to realign teeth. The treatment time will heavily depend on the complexity of your dental issues. Invisalign plastic trays need to be worn 20-22 hours a day and should only be removed when eating, flossing, or brushing.
Is Invisalign The Right Orthodontic Treatment For Me?
Invisalign can fix crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth that negatively affect your oral health and confidence. When trying to fix these orthodontic issues, you may find yourself wondering if Invisalign is right for you.
Invisalign is a great alternative to metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. The clear aligner trays are more discrete, comfortable, and can be as effective as regular braces. However, for some people, Invisalign may not be the solution. You will need to visit an orthodontist or Invisalign doctor who will examine the condition of your teeth and come up with a treatment plan.
There are a few things your orthodontist will take into consideration before recommending Invisalign or other orthodontic treatments. You need to ask yourself a few questions as well before deciding if Invisalign is right for you.
What is the condition of your smile?
As you know, Invisalign can fix gapped teeth, crowded teeth, underbites, open bites, crossbites, and other dental issues. However, if you have a dramatic overbite, underbite, or crossbite, Invisalign may not work for you and you would be better off with traditional orthodontic treatment.
How old are you?
Invisalign works best for teens over the age of 13 and adults. Younger children are still developing and their teeth are constantly shifting as the jaw continues to grow. The constant change in young children makes it difficult to create an effective Invisalign treatment plan.
How committed you are
Invisalign aligner trays are removable and can be easily removed to eat, floss, or brush your teeth. However, this can pose a problem and you may forget to put them back in or lose them since they are removable.
Invisalign plastic trays need to be worn at least 20-22 hours per day in order to work effectively. Failure to do so can lengthen your treatment time, completely alter the course of your treatment plan and cost you more.
After completing your Invisalign treatment, you will be required to wear a retainer. Teeth have a tendency to shift back to their position prior to the Invisalign treatment and a retainer ensures that they stay in place. Immediately following your treatment, you may be required to wear your retainer for most of the day, and other times, you may be required to wear it only when sleeping.
Invisalign costs more than traditional braces, and, in some instances, your private health insurance may cover some of the cost. If you are not covered, then you will need to pay the entire amount from your pocket, which may not be ideal.
Have a talk with the orthodontist of your choice if you are recommended the Invisalign treatment. Some dental practices offer payment plans where you can make regular monthly payments throughout the course of your treatment.
Factors That Can Affect The Invisalign Treatment Time
You will notice movement within the first two weeks of using Invisalign. However, the average treatment time is 12-18 months, with some cases extending to 24 months. After Invisalign treatment, you’ll be required to wear a retainer to maximize the treatment results.
That being said, everyone is different and so the duration of treatment differs from person to person. Your treatment type will depend on your individual needs. There are a few factors that can affect the Invisalign treatment time. These include:
Gaps in teeth
Gaps in teeth often result from the overgrowth of tissue or teeth that are small in relation to the jawbone. Small gaps will only take a few months to fix, while larger gaps can take up to 18 months or more. The time will all depend on how the teeth respond to the treatment.
In some instances, people with mild crowding issues can have them fixed in as little as 6 months. People with moderate crowding can take up to 18 months, while those with severe crowding can take up to 24 months.
Age can play a significant role in how fast teeth move. Teenagers may see faster movement than adults, which means they will have a shorter treatment time. However, some adults also see fast movement and have short treatment times. In the end, it all depends on how fast an individual’s teeth move.
Another factor that can affect Invisalign treatment time is compliance. If you don’t follow your orthodontist’s order religiously, treatment duration may be prolonged. Invisalign aligner trays are removable and many times, people may leave them out longer than the recommended time or forget to put them back on.
It is recommended to wear your Invisalign plastic trays for at least 22 hours per day, even when you’re sleeping. You are advised to only remove them when you are eating or cleaning your teeth to maintain good oral health.
Cost of Invisalign
The cost of Invisalign differs greatly from the cost of traditional braces. Invisalign prices will vary and treatment costs anywhere from $4500 to $9000. That being said, if you have health insurance with an extra policy that covers orthodontics, then you may be able to make a claim.
Keep in mind that milder misalignment issues are going to cost less than major ones. To help with the cost, the dental practice you choose may offer monthly payment plans, seasonal promotions, or family pack discounts.
If you are thinking about getting Invisalign and have no coverage, then you probably should. This helps you with a certain amount, so you don’t have to pay the entire cost out of pocket. However, with new coverage, you won’t be able to claim your Invisalign treatment for 12 months.
There are a few factors that may affect the cost of your treatment, such as:
- Orthodontic issues – the cost of your Invisalign treatment will depend on the severity of your dental issues. Minor fixes are going to cost less than major ones.
- Dental practitioners – dentists who are highly skilled and in-demand tend to charge more than others.
- Refinements – in some cases, during the course of your dental treatment, your orthodontist may need to perform a few refinements which may cost you.
- Aftercare – Once you’ve completed your Invisalign treatment, you will need a retainer to keep your teeth in place. This can be worn at night while you sleep.
Invisalign is a great orthodontic treatment that fixes mild to moderate misalignment teeth issues. They are much more comfortable than traditional braces and look better too. Treatment time varies and some individuals get results in as little as 6 months, while others take a little while longer.
The duration of your treatment will all depend on your particular case, and the only way to be sure is to visit an orthodontist. They will examine your teeth and come up with the appropriate treatment plan for you.