Are you worried about the appearance of metal braces? You may be able to straighten your teeth transparently with Invisalign® clear aligners. Here, our Burnaby orthodontists talk about the factors that could influence the length of your Invisalign® treatment.
Invisalign® is a series of clear plastic aligners that can straighten your teeth by gradually shifting them in tiny increments over a certain time frame. In this way, they're just like metal braces, but they have the additional benefit of being much less obvious when being worn.
The average length of Invisalign® treatment for adults is approximately a year, but, it usually takes a little longer for teens. Although, every patient is different and there is a range of factors that could influence the duration of your personal Invisalign® treatment.
The Complexity of Your Misalignment
It could take longer to straighten your teeth with clear aligners if they are severely misalaligned. This is also the same for braces, but with Invisalign®, the severity of your misalignment will also determine how many aligners come in your treatment plan.
The Number of Aligners in Your Series
Invisalign® treatment contains a series of aligners and you have to change each set of aligners for the next one approximately every 2 weeks. If you already know how many aligners you will have in your series, then you just have to do a bit of simple math to determine how long your treatment should take:
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, therefore, your treatment will take 8 months.
How Compliant You Are With Your Treatment Plan
The choices you make during your treatment process will play a significant role in how long it ends up taking. At the start of your treatment, your orthodontist will estimate how long it should take. To help make sure treatment stays on schedule (and doesn't take longer than it should), you need to wear your aligners as prescribed.
During your Invisalign® treatment, you must wear your aligners full time every day. That means approximately 22 hours a day of aligner wear.
Doing this will ensure that your treatment is not delayed. If you leave your aligners out for too long, or too often, your teeth may shift back out of position, resulting in delays and setbacks. Thus, be sure to remove your aligners only to eat, brush and floss, and don’t forget to put them back in when you're done!
How Long Your Results Take
The majority of patients start noticing results from their Invisalign® treatment after approximately 4 to 6 weeks. It can be helpful to take a picture of your smile each week so that you can get a better idea of how much your teeth are moving.