How Long Is Invisalign Treatment?
How long you will need your Invisalign treatment depends on a number of factors, including how often you wear your aligners and how complex your case is.
On average, most orthodontists believe that teenagers will need Invisalign for about a year, while adults may need it for up to two years. There is no perfect formula for determining how long a patient will need treatment, as every patient has their own unique tooth alignment that will be a factor. Contact us to setup your complimentary invisalign consultation.
As a rule of thumb, teenagers do not have to wear their aligners as long as adults do, simply because their teeth are easier to move and are more responsive to the alignments made by the invisalign treatments. Adults, on the other hand, usually have more complex cases and less responsive teeth and jaws, so their treatments tend to take longer.
What Lengthens Invisalign Treatment?
There are many factors that affect how long your treatment will be. Specifically there are quite a few things that will lengthen your treatment time, even beyond your orthodontist’s initial estimate. For example, if you do not wear your aligners for the prescribed twenty to twenty-two hours a day, this can significantly prolong your treatment. Though you must take the aligners out to eat and brush your teeth, you should wear them at all other times of the day, including when you are sleeping, at school, at work, or performing any other activity.
If you refuse to wear your aligners at school, for example, your orthodontist may not know why the treatment is not progressing as quickly as it should, but he/she will see that it is not as effective as it should be, and require you to wear each aligner longer than if you wore them as often as the orthodontist recommends.
Complex cases also lengthen treatment. For example, if you have many teeth that need to be moved or have an especially complicated tooth alignment, your treatment will be longer than someone who only needs to move a few teeth. Because Invisalign treatments sometimes cannot move the teeth as drastically as metal braces can, cases that could easily be solved by metal braces may prove to be a challenge for Invisalign.
What Shortens Invisalign Treatments?
Apart from only needing a few teeth to be moved into proper alignment, there are some things you as a patient can do to ensure that your treatment is as short as possible. Always follow all of the instructions given by your orthodontist. If he says to wear your aligners for at least twenty-two hours a day, be sure to do so. Your teeth and jaw may feel a little sore at first, but this is all part of the alignment process.
Also, be sure to properly care for your Invisalign aligners. If one becomes cracked, be sure to tell your orthodontist so they can prepare a replacement. Brush out any plague or food particles that may be hanging on to your aligners and be sure to deep clean them at least once a week. This will keep your teeth in good health and your aligners working properly.
Remembering to change out your aligners on the proper date and remembering to take your aligner with you if you travel, will also shorten the treatment. Though the treatment is nowhere near as intrusive as metal bracket-style braces, the shorter your treatment is, the closer you are to the brilliant smile you have always wanted.
How Often Do I Have to Wear the Aligners?
Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg ask patients to wear their aligners as often as possible. This means that at almost all times, you should be wearing your aligners. Unlike metal braces that are very prominent and can constantly interfere with how you talk and eat, Invisalign aligners are designed to be nearly invisible. This means that they are not very likely to be noticed by a peer or other onlooker.
Though orthodontists want their patients to wear their aligners as often as is humanly possible, we also understand that there are instances when aligners simply will not work. When eating, for example, it is much safer for the aligner and for your teeth for the aligners to be removed from your mouth. In most cases, however, aligners will neither interfere with an activity nor even be visible, making it easy to wear them almost constantly, even if you have aligners for both your upper and lower teeth. Doing this will make each aligner more effective and will shorten the overall length of your treatment.
How Often Will I Get a New Aligner?
Most people get a new aligner every two weeks. This, again, will depend on how vigilant the individual patient is about wearing their aligner. If the patient does not wear the aligner the prescribed twenty to twenty-two hours a day, the aligners do not have the time to their job, and the teeth will not move as quickly. This may lengthen the time each aligner is worn from two weeks to three weeks.
How quickly your treatment is over will depend on how quickly you can move from aligner to aligner, as once your orthodontist has mapped out your treatment, he is unlikely to deviate from it. The aligners must be used in tandem, as they are specially designed to work in sequence.
How Do I Maintain My New Smile after Treatment Is Over?
Once your Invisalign treatment is over, you will have a straight, brilliant smile, without all the hassle of metal braces. Your mouth will not have to go through the adjustment process that is required after braces, and you can get on with your life. Your orthodontist may prescribe a retainer, asking you to wear it only at night, instead of all the time like your aligners.
Have more questions about Invisalign Treatments? Contact us for your complimentary consultation.