There’s no denying that braces are effective if you want straighter teeth but not everyone wants to wear metal appliances. If you’d prefer something more discreet then clear aligners such as Invisalign, could be just what you’re looking for. This being the case, you may be considering just how long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth?
Before answering your question, let’s take a closer look at Invisalign and how it works.
Invisalign is just one of several orthodontic methods. An initial examination by an experienced dentist or orthodontist will help determine the best course of treatment for you.
If Invisalign is suitable for you, then it may be a far more attractive alternative to unsightly metal braces and in many cases, can prove to be just as effective. In fact, one study has shown that in some cases, clear aligners are more beneficial than braces.
Besides straightening crooked teeth, Invisalign can be used to correct:
- Malocclusions – when the upper and lower teeth are not properly aligned such as an overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
- Overcrowding – This happens when a person’s jaw is too small to accommodate new teeth that erupt and leads to teeth that protrude and grow abnormally
Invisalign aligners look very much like teeth whitening trays and must be worn for 22 hours a day. Like braces, they gradually move teeth using sustained and gentle force. The difference being that because they’re made from clear plastic, it’s almost impossible for people to tell that you’re wearing them.
Invisalign Aligners – How They Work
Unlike metal braces where you wear one fixed device for the duration of your treatment, Invisalign utilises a series of removable aligners which are worn in a pre-planned sequence.
To determine if you’re a suitable candidate for Invisalign aligners, your dentist will take an x-ray and a 3D scan of your teeth.
If you’re a good fit, a 3D computerised model of your jaw and teeth will be used to plan the necessary tooth movements which will be used by the Invisalign laboratory to create your aligners.
Depending on the complexity of your treatment, anything from 6 to 48 Invisalign aligners will be used to achieve the desired results.
How long does Invisalign take to move teeth?
You may find that your teeth and gums feel a little tender during aligner treatment. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal and is part of the realigning process. Any discomfort can usually be eased with over-the-counter painkillers.
Each aligner will move a misaligned tooth by up to .33 millimetres. After two or three days your aligner will start to feel more comfortable and this is a sign that the tooth has begun to move in the right direction. Usually, an aligner has done its job by the end of a two-week period and it’s time to dispose of it and replace it with the next aligner in the series.
While the duration of treatment varies from one person to another, what doesn’t change is the need to wear Invisalign aligners for 22 hours a day.
Your aligner can be removed for short periods of time to eat and drink and to brush and floss your teeth. But be aware that failure to comply with your dentist’s instructions can negatively affect the length of time Invisalign takes to work, including the overall duration of your treatment.
How long does Invisalign take from start to finish?
As far as estimating the duration of your Invisalign treatment, it all depends on its complexity. If you simply want to move a slightly crooked tooth, for instance, it may take less than 6 months. If, on the other hand, your dental problem is more complicated, then it could take up to 24 months.
Generally speaking, the average length of time for Invisalign treatment is 12 months but the good news is that you’ll start to notice a difference within a few weeks of treatment.
Yes, the results may seem minimal to start off with, but once you’re 4 to 6 weeks into your treatment you’ll be able to detect noticeable differences. By the time you’ve finished wearing the last of your Invisalign aligners, your smile should be straight and even.
To keep it looking this way, however, you will need to wear a retainer, as teeth have a habit of moving back to their original positions. Your dentist will be able to help you choose a retainer that’s best for you.
If you’re keen to get the smile you’ve always wanted then why not come and have a chat with our friendly dentists at Beyond 32 Dental or you can call us at (02) 9158 6334. If Invisalign isn’t a suitable treatment for you, we’ll find you an orthodontic treatment that is!