Invisalign® is a series of clear plastic aligners designed to straighten teeth in tiny increments over a period of months. In this way, they're much like metal braces, but they have the added benefit of generally being far less obvious to others when worn.
The average Invisalign treatment course for adults lasts about a year, while the average for adolescents is slightly longer. However, the duration of your Invisalign treatment will depend on a variety of factors that are unique to you as an individual patient.
The Severity of Your Misalignment
If your teeth are severely misaligned, Invisalign will take longer to align them. This is the case with braces as well, but with Invisalign, the number of aligners will also depend on the severity of your misalignment.
The Number of Aligners in Your Series
The Invisalign treatment consists of a series of aligners, each of which must be switched out approximately every two weeks as prescribed by your dentist. If you already know how many aligners are in your series, calculating how long your treatment will last is a matter of simple math.
Let’s assume you have 16 sets of aligners.
You have to switch them out every two weeks, so that’s two sets of aligners each month.
16 divided by 2 is 8, so that means your treatment will take 8 months.
Your Compliance with Treatment
Your decisions during your treatment process will play a vital role in how long it ends up taking. At the outset of the process, your dentist will estimate how long treatment will take. To help make sure treatment goes according to plan (and doesn't take long), be sure to wear your aligners as your dentist has prescribed.
During your Invisalign treatment, you must wear your aligners full-time every day. This means that you need to be wearing your aligners for approximately 22 hours a day.
This will prevent your treatment from being prolonged. If you remove your aligners too frequently or for too long, your teeth may shift back out of place, resulting in setbacks and delays. Therefore, only remove your aligners to eat, brush, and floss... Don't forget to replace them when you're finished.
How long before I start noticing results?
The majority of patients begin to see results from their Invisalign treatment between the fourth and sixth week. It can be useful to take a picture of your smile every week in order to gauge how much your teeth are shifting.