These days, almost everyone has heard about Invisalign. They've seen the commercials and magazine ads, and they know what clear aligners are and how they work since they likely have friends or family members who have used the system to straighten their teeth. What you might not know is how long it takes for Invisalign to straighten teeth—read on for the answer to this question.
Average Invisalign Treatment Time
According to the Invisalign website, the average treatment time for most patients is 12 to 18 months. Of course, this is an average, so there are always outliers—some people may achieve their results in less than a year, while others may take more than 18 months. Setting aside these rarer cases, the majority of Invisalign patients complete their treatment within this time frame.
Invisalign's predictability is a significant advantage when compared to other orthodontic treatments. We know exactly how many sets of aligners you'll need throughout your treatment since we plan the precise movements of each tooth. Because every pair of aligners is worn for about two weeks, we can easily estimate the amount of time you'll need for Invisalign based on the number of aligners you need.
Understanding Your Orthodontic Needs
How many aligners you need depends upon the severity of your orthodontic issues. Naturally, if you have a more complex orthodontic case, Invisalign treatment will take longer, just like traditional metal braces would.
If you're an adult who wants to use Invisalign to correct minor orthodontic relapse caused by not using a retainer after having braces as a teen, you'll probably only need a year of treatment. In contrast, you may need to wear aligners for up to 18 months if you've never undergone orthodontic treatment and need to correct serious bite issues and teeth misalignments.
Compliance With Invisalign Treatment
When compared to other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign is quite predictable, but one thing we can't predict is your compliance with the system. Braces work all the time since they are attached to your teeth, but Invisalign aligners only work while you are wearing them. Invisalign recommends wearing your aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day, but we suggest that you only take them out to eat, drink anything other than water, brush, and floss. You'll switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks, or as instructed.
If you take your aligners out frequently and leave them out for hours or even days, you'll extend the time needed for your orthodontic treatment. You may think that switching to a new pair of aligners every two weeks will allow you to achieve the same results whether or not you wear them for at least 20 hours each day, but doing this can cause serious oral health issues, impacting the health of the roots of your teeth.