If you want to straighten your teeth or correct an under or overbite, Invisalign treatment can be the way to go. During Invisalign treatment, you wear custom-fit plastic aligners over your teeth for most of the day. The aligners gradually straighten the teeth or correct your bite.
Before starting treatment, many people want to know how long they'll have to wear the aligners. It really all depends on the type of issue you're treating and how well you follow your treatment plan. Here's what you need to know about the process and what to expect from it.
How Long Do You Need to Wear Your Invisalign Aligners?
How long you need to wear your Invisalign aligners depends on several factors. The average treatment time is between 12 and 18 months, but some people get the results they wanted after just six months. Others need to wear the aligners for two years or longer before they have finished treatment.
When you begin Invisalign, your dentist will give you an idea of how long the process will take, based on what you're correcting. Your actions can also influence the treatment process and length.
What Affects the Length of Treatment?
The issue you're correcting has a big impact on the treatment length. The more complex the concern, the longer the process is likely to take. Invisalign corrects the following concerns regarding the teeth and bite:
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Open bite
If you're making a small adjustment to your smile, such as straightening teeth that are just slightly crooked, the process is likely to take much less time than if you were correcting a misaligned bite and spaces between the teeth.
Another factor that affects treatment length is how well you follow your dentist's instructions. Simply put, the better you are at adhering to the directions, the less time you'll need for treatment.
For example, you're supposed to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours daily. If you wear them for less time, they won't work as effectively and it will take longer to correct the problem.
You're also supposed to change the aligners every few weeks, as your teeth adjust. If you don't stick to the schedule, you might not see results as quickly.
Your age can also affect the length of treatment. Younger people might see results sooner than older people. But, Invisalign is still an ideal option for adults, teens, and children.
How to Make the Most of Invisalign
To get the most out of your Invisalign treatment and to reduce the treatment time, your best option is to follow your dentist's instructions. Keep the aligners on your teeth for the recommended daily length of time and change them as your dentist recommends.
You should also stick to the follow-up schedule recommended by your dentist. Usually, your dentist will want to see you in the office every four to six weeks. Keeping up with these visits lets your dentist make adjustments as needed, so you can get the most from your treatment.
After you're finished with the aligners, continue to follow the advice of your dentist, such as by wearing the retainer for the recommended length of time.