Considering Invisalign®? Many people turn to this treatment option in order to straighten teeth that are crooked, crowded, or protruding. However, what may be surprising to learn is that Invisalign® can also be used to correct bite issues. When Invisalign® first hit the market, its primary use was for teeth straightening, but as the technology…
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
People looking for an efficient and discreet way to straighten teeth can check out Invisalign® clear aligners. While the average adult takes about 12 months to use this system, because everyone's teeth are different, the time frame must be personalized to each individual.
Factors affecting how long Invisalign® takes
For those looking to get an accurate idea of how long this kind of treatment could take, there are three main factors to consider.
Severity of the issue needing correction
In some cases, people with small gaps in their teeth have only needed to wear the aligners for eight weeks. For others, closing gaps can take eight months or longer because the teeth need to be moved farther.
In cases of mild crowding, some teeth can be corrected in as little as six months. When the teeth are more intensely crowded, resulting in overlaps, the aligners may need to be worn for as long as two years. Straightening teeth that are crooked, misaligned or protruding can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. These are the most common reasons people decide to use aligners.
Proper use of the trays
For aligner trays to work properly, they must be worn for 22 hours each day. The more frequently the trays are removed, the longer the process will take to complete. The trays are designed to be worn while sleeping and should only be removed while eating and drinking. Even after the process is completed, it is typically necessary to wear a retainer at night to ensure teeth do not shift back into previous positions.
Trays must also be switched out every one to two weeks to allow the teeth to move slowly into their proper positions. Failure to switch to the next tray at the appropriate time can lengthen the process. Waiting too long to change the tray can obviously add time. However, attempting to change the trays out before enough time has elapsed can also cause problems, because the teeth need time to adjust at a healthy pace. While some people may notice a difference after wearing aligners for just a few weeks, it is crucial to continue to follow the recommended wear schedule.
Each person's body and mouth is unique. Even for people wanting to correct the same issue, aligners can take different amounts of time to work. For some, teeth will shift easily into a new position. This allows the trays to be switched out more frequently and the treatment time to decrease. Others have more stubborn teeth that can take longer to move. In these cases, each set of trays will need to be used longer and the process will take more time. Until the treatment has started, there is no way to tell how each person’s mouth will respond.
The average person will need to wear Invisalign® trays for 12 months. While some issues can be fixed in as little as eight weeks, others will take two years. The way to determine an accurate time frame is to visit a dental professional and start the treatment process.
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