Many people seeking alternatives to traditional metal braces find that Invisalign is the perfect option. These clear aligners provide discreet treatment for many mild to moderate orthodontic issues, such as crooked teeth, overcrowding, and misaligned bites.
Invisalign is a highly successful method of treatment despite working much differently than traditional braces. But does it work just as efficiently? How long do you have to wear Invisalign? Let’s get some answers.
How Invisalign Works
Once your dentist has determined that you are a good candidate for Invisalign, 3D images will be taken of your teeth. This will allow them to create a timeline for addressing your orthodontic needs. As a result, aligners are created for you to wear throughout the entire length of treatment.
Each aligner is designed to move your teeth further along and, following instructions from your dentist, you will switch to a new one every weeks. This new aligner will be a little snugger than the one before it and will continue to encourage your teeth to move in the right direction. The switching of aligners can be compared to the tightening of wires in traditional braces.
There is a high level of convenience that comes with choosing Invisalign, such as fewer trips to the dentist and being able to remove your aligners when you want. Simply being able to remove them while eating and not having to change up one’s hygiene routine makes them even more desirable.
Here’s the catch - Invisalign only works if they are worn. And that means those who opt for this treatment must have the self-discipline to wear them.
How Long Do You Have to Wear Invisalign?
The timeline for treatment with Invisalign is going to vary from patient to patient. Aligners are created to move the teeth in a way that will correct the orthodontic issues. And, for some that could mean having only a few aligners whereas for others, it could mean having a lot. The more aligners, the longer the treatment. Though, on average, most people get through their treatment in about 6 to 12 months . Minor treatment could be in as little as 6 months with more complex needs taking longer.
What Determines Treatment Length?
Understanding how Invisalign works can help you to gain a better understanding of what impacts the treatment timeline. There are 3 main factors that play a role in determining treatment length.
- Age of the patient
- Complexity of treatment
- Compliance with treatment
Younger patients, like teens and adolescents, tend to do very well with Invisalign. Their teeth tend to respond more quickly to treatment than adults, often resulting in a shorter length of treatment.
As mentioned above, the more complex your orthodontic needs, the more lengthy and extensive your treatment. Keep in mind that Invisalign may not be the best option for those requiring in-depth orthodontic care.
While patients may not have control over the other two factors, they do have control over whether or not they comply with treatment. Wearing the aligners as they are intended - for 20 to 22 hours per day (at least) - is crucial for timely results. Maintaining dental follow-ups as well as good oral hygiene is also incredibly important for its success.