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The Smile Space
The Smile Space

When it comes to straightening teeth, the answer to how long it takes is highly individualised. Depending on your orthodontic needs and the treatment approach you choose, your timeline could be as short as a few months or up to a couple of years. Generally, traditional metal braces take longer than other teeth straightening methods, such as Invisalign.

Read on for more detailed information on Invisalign‘s estimated timeline and tips on how to speed up the process and maintain your results.

Summary of the Article

Invisalign treatment duration is highly individualized and can range from 6-18 months. The duration of treatment depends on several factors, such as the severity of the orthodontic issue, the patient’s age, and how well the patient adheres to the treatment plan. Most patients can expect to see significant improvement in their teeth within 4-8 weeks of starting Invisalign treatment. Patients should wear their Invisalign trays for 20-22 hours per day, switching them out every two weeks.

Patients can speed up the Invisalign treatment process by wearing their aligners as instructed, following the treatment plan, practising good oral hygiene, taking proper care of their aligners, and following up with regular checkups. To maintain the result of the Invisalign treatment, patients should wear retainers after treatment, maintain good oral hygiene, avoid hard and sticky foods, use a mouthguard when playing sports, and see their dentist regularly.

How Long Is the Average Treatment Duration for Invisalign?

Because patients have different orthodontic issues and dental goals, the duration of Invisalign treatment varies. The average treatment time takes 6-18 months. This can be shortened or lengthened depending on the complexity of your case.

For instance, if your teeth are relatively straight but need minor adjustments, your treatment could take as little as six months. On the other hand, if you require more complex tooth movements, such as in more severe misaligned teeth or bite issues, it can take 12-18 months or more to see the desired results.

How Long Does It Take for the Results to Be Visible With Invisalign?

The timeline for visible results with Invisalign can vary depending on several factors, such as the severity of the orthodontic issue, the patient’s age, and how well the patient adheres to the treatment plan.

In general, most patients can expect to see significant improvement in their teeth within four to eight weeks of starting Invisalign treatment. It’s essential to note that the results of Invisalign treatment depend mainly on how well the patient follows the prescribed treatment plan, including wearing the aligners for the recommended amount of time each day, changing them as directed, and attending regular checkups with the dentist.

How Often Do I Need to Wear Invisalign Aligners to Achieve Straight Teeth?

It is recommended to wear your Invisalign trays for 20-22 hours per day. If you don’t wear them for the recommended time, it may take longer to achieve straighter teeth. You must switch out your aligners every two weeks to stay on track with your treatment plan.

Wearing the Invisalign trays for the recommended time can prevent delays in treatment and ensure its success.

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Are There Any Factors That Can Affect the Treatment Duration for Invisalign?

The following are some factors that may affect the treatment duration for Invisalign:

  • The severity of your case.
    If you have more complex orthodontic needs, it will take longer to complete the treatment.

  • Your age.
    Teenagers tend to have shorter treatment times than older adults.

  • Compliance with the instructions.
    Not following the dentist’s instructions or not wearing the aligner trays for 20-22 hours daily may result in a longer treatment time to attain desired outcomes.

  • Your oral hygiene.
    Not maintaining proper oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and cavities. This may require your dentist to pause your treatment to address these conditions. Similarly, not cleaning your removable aligners as instructed can damage them, requiring patients to get replacement trays. This can also delay your treatment.

Can I Speed Up the Process or Make It Shorter?

Here are some tips to help speed up your Invisalign treatment:

  • Wear your aligners as instructed by your dentist
    This is the key to achieving the desired results within the recommended treatment period. As mentioned, Invisalign aligner trays should be worn for 20-22 hours daily for your teeth to move as intended throughout the treatment.

  • Follow the treatment plan
    Follow your dentist’s treatment plan closely, including using additional orthodontic devices such as elastics or attachments. Skipping or not following the plan may extend your treatment time.

  • Practice good oral habits
    If you don’t maintain good oral habits, you can increase the risk of decay and cavities. This can delay your treatment process as your dentist must put your Invisalign treatment on hold and address these dental issues first.

  • Take proper care of aligners as instructed
    This includes cleaning them regularly and properly. You can do this by brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, clear liquid soap to remove debris or food particles. Avoid hot water, as this can warp the shape of your aligners. Also, rinse them properly after brushing and store them properly in their case when not in use so they won’t be misplaced.

  • Follow up with regular checkups
    Attending all appointments is essential to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments for optimal results. Your dentist will advise you if you need additional aligners or if your treatment plan needs to be modified to achieve the desired results.

How Can I Maintain the Result of My Invisalign Treatment?

Patients play a vital role in maintaining the results of their Invisalign treatment. Here are the measures you should take:

  • Wear retainers after treatment
    Your dentist will provide you with retainers to wear after your Invisalign treatment is complete. It’s crucial to wear your retainers as directed to keep your teeth in their new position. Failure to do so may result in your teeth shifting back to their previous position.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene
    Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Consider using an electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to increase brushing efficacy and strengthen teeth.

  • Avoid hard and sticky foods
    Hard and sticky foods can damage your teeth and may cause them to shift out of place. Try to avoid these foods or take extra care when eating them.

  • Use a mouthguard when playing sports.
    If you play contact sports or other activities that can cause trauma to your teeth, consider using a mouthguard to protect your teeth.

  • See your dentist regularly
    You must continue to visit your dentist every six months so they can monitor the health of your straightened teeth. This will also help them see that your teeth stay in place and maintain their alignment.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign is an excellent teeth straightening option for patients with mild to moderate teeth misalignment. While the treatment duration can vary from patient to patient, Invisalign usually takes 6-18 months to deliver the desired results. This can be shortened or extended depending on the complexity of your case. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions, including wearing the aligners for 20-22 hours per day to achieve the desired results.

The Smile Space has the latest dental technology and dental professionals with years of experience working with patients with tooth misalignment issues. If you want to know more about this Invisalign and how it can deliver straight teeth in the shortest time possible, we encourage you to call our clinic and book an appointment with one of the dentists. We will be ready to help you achieve the beautiful smile of your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Invisalign treatment process begins with a consultation between the patient and their dentist. During the consultation, the dentist will perform an oral examination to assess the severity of the orthodontic problems and determine a suitable treatment plan. After they have developed a custom Invisalign plan, they will take impressions or 3D scans of the teeth, which will be used to create a series of customised aligners. Unlike traditional braces, these aligners are created from clear plastic, making them virtually invisible when worn, which is also why they are called Invisalign!

Once patients receive the first set of their aligners, they’ll be instructed to wear them for 20-22 hours a day and to replace them with the next set of aligners in the series every two weeks. Other instructions regarding the care of the Invisalign trays will also be given. With regular checkups with your dentist and consistent care, patients can expect to achieve stunning results in no time!

The plastic aligners of Invisalign use the concept of gradual changes in tooth alignment to create straighter teeth. They apply continuous gentle pressure on the teeth to slowly cause a slight movement of the teeth. Over time, these small movements result in more significant changes in the position of the teeth and can help them move into alignment. Unlike the standard metal braces that move teeth individually, Invisalign aligners move all your teeth simultaneously to their proper position.

Invisalign offers several benefits compared to traditional or conventional braces, including:

  1. They are discreet and barely noticeable. Invisalign aligners are made of a clear, thermoplastic material that makes them virtually invisible.

  2. Invisalign trays are custom-made to fit your teeth, making them more comfortable. They are made of BPA-free materials and don’t have metal wires and brackets that poke the gums and cheeks during treatment.

  3. They are removable, so they can be taken out to eat, brush and floss teeth, and clean the aligners. This can make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene and continue to enjoy your favourite foods.

  4. Invisalign treatment can be completed in a shorter time than traditional braces.

  5. Invisalign uses advanced 3D-imaging technology to create a customised digital treatment plan for each patient. This can help predict the treatment results, giving a better idea of what to expect.

  6. Invisalign requires fewer appointments than traditional braces, making it a convenient option for patients with busy schedules.
Invisalign is an effective and increasingly popular system of orthodontic treatment. It can address mild to moderate misalignments, overbites, and underbites. However, it has its limitations. Cases involving severely misaligned teeth, large gaps between teeth, and severe malocclusion are unsuitable for the Invisalign system due to their need for more complex movements requiring higher levels of pressure to manage. In these instances, it may be necessary to consider a more traditional form of braces instead.
Dr. Joseph Coorey


Dr. Joseph Coorey

Dr. Joseph Coorey, or just Joey as many of his patients call him, graduated from the University of Sydney in 2010. Joey is passionate about dentistry, particularly Dentofacial Orthopaedics and Orthodontics, with a goal for appropriate airway development, healthy jaw joints, and proper function in adults and children.

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