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Patients often ask us, “how long does it take for Invisalign to work?”
The answer is, well, it depends. Each person’s mouth is unique, which is one of the reasons that dental records are adequate for identification purposes.
The good news is that many people start seeing results shortly after they start treatment. We hope this post will help answer your questions, so you are an informed patient.
Please keep in mind that since we are all unique, this article is no substitute for professional dental care.
Invisalign is an effective tooth straightening method for many people. Treatment starts with an initial assessment or consultation. Your dentist will then determine whether it is appropriate for you and your best course of treatment.
During your consultation, feel free to ask your provider about your treatment timeline. Your dental professional will map out the path that your teeth will follow to their more optimal alignment. The clear aligners trays will gradually guide them into place.
Why So Many Choose Invisalign
According to a University of North Carolina study, 65% of adults in America have crooked or otherwise misaligned teeth. This may be because:
- They didn’t have braces or other alignment treatment during childhood.
- They wore braces but didn’t wear their retainer as recommended, and their teeth shifted out of alignment.
Invisalign is so popular since people who typically avoid metal braces don’t mind the virtually invisible aligners. Since many people feel less self-conscious about wearing them, more and more adults opt for straightening treatment.
Do you wonder how long does it take for Invisalign to work? When using Invisalign, you may eat any foods that you usually eat, and you may also care for your teeth as usual.
Simply remove the aligners while eating, drinking (other than water), and performing your oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss as usual. The main difference is that you also need to clean or rinse your aligner trays. The second difference is that you need to clean your teeth after each meal or snack to keep your aligners clean.
Over time many barely feel the aligner trays as they get used to wearing them.
Overall, Invisalign is an attractive choice for many patients assuming it is appropriate for your dental needs. Like any treatment, not every treatment works well or is safe for every person.
The Invisalign Treatment Procedure
Before answering the question about how long treatment takes, it helps to understand the basics of the Invisalign process.
As mentioned, your dentist will start with an examination and consultation. At that time, they will,
- Take images of your mouth, such as a 3D scan of your teeth.
- Take photographs.
- Perform an exam and take X-rays.
- Assess whether the treatment is likely to be safe and effective for you.
- Write a proposed plan.
Your dentist will create a digital 3D model of your mouth and use that to plan the path the aligners would guide your teeth. Each misaligned or crooked tooth has its path towards more optimum alignment.
The trays guide the teeth gently closer to their ideal position. Every week or two, you change aligner trays. Some people need as few as six aligner stages, while others may need 48 or more. Invisalign describes the plan as a “roadmap” for your teeth.
How long the treatment takes depends mainly on the level of correction you need or want. Invisalign offers state-of-the-art techniques, technology, and procedures to help dental providers provide effective treatment.
How Long Does it Take for Invisalign To Work?
In general, most people see the results they seek within 12-months. Some fixing simple gaps or misalignment may take as little as six months. However, some with more complicated corrections may need up to 2 years.
While each individual is unique, many start noticing results during their first month of treatment. So even while waiting for the final results, you may begin to see improvements much earlier.
Your dentist should be able to give you a more personalized estimate during your consultation and tell you how long does it take for Invisalign to work.
Factors That May Complicate Your Treatment
This list gives you an idea of some of the factors that may impact how long it takes to see results from Invisalign.
- Gaps between teeth: small gaps may be corrected quickly, but larger gaps may require longer treatment.
- Teeth crowding; The more crowded the teeth, the more each needs to move towards the desired alignment.
- The patient’s age: While adults see results from Invisalign, progress is often quicker for teens since their jaws are still growing and developing.
- Compliance with treatment: Patients who are more consistent are less likely to experience setbacks and more likely to see results sooner.
Some factors you can control, while others you can’t. It helps to focus on what you can do to help ensure a smooth journey to straighter teeth.
What Can You Do to Influence the Process?
The best way to speed the process is to follow your dentist’s recommendations and comply with your treatment plan. This helps prevent avoidable delays to seeing your results.
Wear your aligner trays for 22 hours a day as prescribed. Clean your teeth after every meal and remain consistent with your brushing and flossing to keep your mouth healthy.
Reliably attend each follow-up appointment and keep your dentist informed about any issues you are having or discomfort.
Take good care of your aligners since breaking, damaging, or losing them can cause delays.
By sticking to the treatment plan, you keep progressing towards your results. After you are done wearing the aligner trays, you may need to wear a retainer. If that is the case, be sure to wear it as recommended to maintain your results.
Next Step: Schedule Your Consultation
If you are interested in learning how long does it take for Invisalign to work or if Invisalign is right for you, schedule a consultation with a dentist trained in this treatment method.
Southview Dentistry feels privileged to offer Invisalign to our patients in Charlotte, North Carolina. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and examination.
We love helping the Charlotte community achieve confident smiles!