It’s understandable that even patients who opt for clear aligners want to know how long does Invisalign take – but the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t going to be an overnight change. Changing the way that your teeth are positioned takes time, but fortunately Invisalign’s system can make your period of orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible.
What Is Invisalign And How Does It Work?
All orthodontic devices move crooked teeth into new positions by applying pressure. In the case of metal braces, the pressure system is created by wires and brackets. When it comes to Invisalign, the pressure is created by the aligners themselves.
Invisalign aligners are made from a special kind of plastic that is see-through. So while they are not completely invisible, they are highly discreet, and this is favoured by older teenagers and adults.
Invisalign aligners fit over the front of your teeth and move your teeth into position incrementally. Because your teeth will be shifting while you are having orthodontic treatment, the aligners need to maintain the right kind of pressure throughout your treatment period. This means you will need to update your aligners on a regular basis- every two weeks – so that your teeth can be moved into their next set of positions.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
This question is impossible to answer because each patient is different and presents with a different case. Invisalign aligners can be used for a wide range of corrections including
- Crowded teeth
- Uneven or irregularly spaced teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Problems with your bite, including open bites, crossbites, overbites and underbites
Invisalign aligners are suitable for cases that need mild to moderate correction. The length of time it will take to achieve your goals for your smile will depend on
- Your age
- Your dental history
- Your case
- Your commitment to orthodontic treatment
On average patients can expect anything from 6 to 18 months of treatment, which could even extend to two years. While it’s probably not reasonable to expect to see results immediately, many patients report noticing a change in their smile 10 to 12 weeks into their treatment plan. Your dental practitioner will give you more specific expectations for your case when you discuss your treatment plan. It’s quite exciting to take before and after photos, to monitor your progress and keep you motivated.
Don’t Forget To Wear Your Retainer
Once you have completed your treatment and you have used your last set of Invisalign, your treatment is not quite over. You will be given a retainer to wear at night or for a few hours per day, to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their former positions.
It’s really important that you wear the retainer as instructed, because it’s quite easy to undo all your good work if you don’t complete the process.
Staying Committed To Orthodontic Treatment
One of the major benefits of wearing clear aligners is that they can be removed for eating and drinking. Patients who wear traditional braces might worry about food getting stuck in their braces, but patients who have Invisalign have the advantage of removing them.
It’s essential to remember that your treatment plan goals can only be realised if you wear your clear aligners as directed by your dental practitioner. This is probably going to be for 20 to 22 hours per day. So, even though you can take them out, you really shouldn’t remove them for anything other than eating.
Not wearing your aligners for long enough can cause delays in your progress and impact on your treatment completion.
Don’t Forget About Cleaning
Having clear aligners is a major perk of wearing Invisalign but this can only be maintained if you keep your aligners clean. Remember to follow your dentist’s instructions, and not to use any abrasive substances that can cause micro-tears in your aligners.
Each set of Invisalign aligners should last you for at least two weeks, so it’s critical you maintain excellent hygiene while having treatment.
Adults who need orthodontic treatment should not be put off by taking a year or two to straighten their smiles. Straightening crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw isn’t a vanity purchase, it’s actually a very important part of keeping your teeth healthy and free of cavities.
Teeth that are crooked are more difficult to clean and susceptible to decay. Misaligned jaws can cause a host of complications that will compound over time.
To find out more about whether Invisalign is a suitable treatment for you, please get in touch with us: (02) 8203 8760.