Straighter teeth aren’t just aesthetically pleasing; they’re often healthier because they’re easier to care for. Even minor orthodontic issues can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Traditionally, dentists used metal braces to correct teeth alignment, but patients now have more options than ever before. The Invisalign® system has become increasingly popular because of the flexibility it provides over traditional braces. However, many patients ask, how long does Invisalign take concerned that the orthodontic appliance may need to be worn for an extended period.
Generally, Invisalign treatment takes less time than traditional braces. However, the treatment length depends on the severity of the misalignment and the commitment of the patient to wearing the device.
What is Invisalign?
Unlike traditional braces which use a bracket and wire system to straighten teeth, Invisalign treatment uses a series of clear plastic aligners to push teeth into alignment gently.
When you begin treatment, the orthodontist will digitally scan your teeth, and enter the data into a software program. The program maps out a plan for the movement of your teeth throughout the treatment.
This information is sent to an off-site lab where technicians create your set of custom-fit Invisalign aligners. You will continue to swap out for a new set every one to two weeks until you complete treatment.
The trays create gentle pressure that gradually forces your teeth to fit the interior mould. Every time you switch Invisalign trays, your teeth slowly move along the periodontal membrane until they reach the correct location.
Will it Work for Me?
A common misconception of Invisalign is that it can only correct very minor orthodontic issues.
Invisalign aligners can be used to straighten teeth and correct most of the issues addressed by traditional braces, including crowding, gaps between teeth, and even turned teeth.
Invisalign treatment is also used to treat overbites (when upper teeth protrude over the lower), underbites (when lower teeth protrude beyond the upper), and crossbites (caused by incorrect placement of the upper and lower jaw.)
Your orthodontist can help you determine if Invisalign will work for your particular alignment issues.
However, there are a few orthodontic issues that cannot be corrected with Invisalign, including teeth that require vertical movement, or significant lateral rotation.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Most patients will see noticeable results within weeks of starting Invisalign treatment, and the entire process can last as little as six months. However, most Invisalign programs last between 12-24 months.
The length of treatment varies depending on the complexity of your orthodontic issues, as well as how disciplined you are when wearing your device.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, some patients forget to wear them or replace them after eating or cleaning. It is recommended that Invisalign be worn for at least 22 hours a day. Too much time without the aligners can undo any previous progress. Patients who wear the aligners less than 22 hours a day will likely experience extended treatment times and may not achieve the results they desire.
Talk to Our Dental Team
For many orthodontic issues, Invisalign aligners offer a fast and effective way to achieve a straighter smile. The staff at Bright Dental Group are available to discuss your options and help you through the process, regardless of which method you choose.
Call our practice at (02) 4708 9691 and get started on your journey to a straighter, healthier smile.