If you’re looking for a more convenient way to align your teeth and improve your smile, Invisalign can help. Invisible aligners are placed over your teeth which work over time to give you a more natural, confident smile.
The average Invisalign treatment lasts for around 10-18 months. This varies from person to person, and it’s not unusual for treatments to last longer or finish earlier than expected. Some people only need 6 months of treatment, while others may need 24 months worth of Invisalign.
Factors that affect Invisalign treatment time
So, what factors affect how long your Invisalign treatment will take? Maybe you’re also wondering how to speed up the Invisalign process. If this is the case, all you really need to know is that by taking good care of your teeth and your Invisalign trays, you can ensure maximum efficiency in the process. Continue reading below for more information on what affects the treatment time for Invisalign.
The severity of your case
If your teeth are in particular need of treatment, due to factors like overcrowding or a heavily protruding bite, you will likely need to wear Invisalign for an extended period of time. In the most extreme cases, Invisalign treatment can last for more than 2 years, especially if your teeth are stubborn and resistant to movement.
If you think your teeth are in desperate need of alignment, consult your dentist who will advise you on the length of your treatment. But remember, dentists aren’t gods – they can’t predict the future. Your treatment length may still differ slightly from what your dentist tells you at the start.
The duration of your treatment will also depend on how old you are. Invisalign is ideal for people of all ages, and there’s not a lot of difference in duration between ages. However, the older you are the longer you might have to wear your trays for.
This is down to bone density. Younger people benefit (in this instance) from more malleable bones. The bone tissue around their teeth and jaws is more welcoming of change, and their teeth can be moved easier. As a result, the general trend is that older people may have to wear their Invisalign for longer.
Although it’s one of the more convenient teeth alignment treatments, Invisalign requires a good level of discipline and dedication to be successful. The extent to which you comply with the rules and advice around your treatment will determine how quickly the process moves. Adequate compliance includes keeping your aligners in for 20-22 hours every day, cleaning your trays routinely and thoroughly, and not consuming certain food and drink.
You might already be wondering “can you finish Invisalign early?” If you’re having doubts about committing to the entire duration of the treatment, talk to your dentist before you start the process. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from some serious disadvantages if you finish the treatment early.
Oral hygiene – the health of your teeth and gums
If your teeth are in poor condition prior to treatment, you’ll likely have to undergo additional surgery or treatment before you can start your Invisalign. This will delay the process and lengthen the entire procedure.
What’s more, if you fail to look after your teeth during your Invisalign treatment, you run the risk of the retainers not working effectively. This can also lead to additional treatments, costing you further fees and elongating the Invisalign process. Always remember to brush your teeth twice daily, floss, and use a non-coloured mouthwash.
Naturally, your treatment length will also depend on your orthodontist. Despite the rigid dental practices and standards, opinions will always differ slightly amongst professionals. This means that one orthodontist might be happy with the results after a year, while another may tell you it’s worth sticking with it for another few months.
In extremely rare cases, your orthodontist may slip up and make an error in their work. For example, they might take an incorrect impression of your teeth for your next tray, meaning it doesn’t fit when it arrives. In this instance, your orthodontist will have to arrange for new trays to be made, delaying the treatment in the process.
How often do you need to switch out your Invisalign trays?
Generally, your dentist will ask you to switch out your trays every 1-2 weeks to keep the process moving forward. Obviously, if you don’t take good care of your aligners you may need to replace them more frequently, but in general once or twice per fortnight is sufficient. Also, make sure you take them out when eating or drinking, and to clean your teeth.
Your dentist or orthodontist will ask you to have regular check-ups to see how you’re coping with your Invisalign and to examine how your teeth are responding. These will be every 4-6 weeks, but this will all depend on how often your dentist wants to check up on you.
How many Invisalign aligners do I need?
On average, you’ll need anywhere between 14 and 26 trays. Of course, the amount of trays required entirely depends on the length of your treatment, which in turn depends on the factors listed above. Milder cases with shorter treatments don’t need as many trays, with the quickest cases needing as little as 6 trays.
For more serious cases of overcrowding and other dental issues, upwards of 26 trays may be necessary. In general, though, a median of 20 trays is enough to see you through your Invisalign treatment.
How long will 20 trays of Invisalign take?
On average, 20 trays should be enough to last you a year of treatment. Many people won’t need more than 20 trays, but many others will – it all depends on the various factors listed above. In general, though, 20 trays of Invisalign will take around 10-14 months.