woman in dental chair putting in invisalign

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Teeth?

Are you considering Invisalign for yourself or your child? Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that can straighten teeth and correct bite issues. It can do most of the same things braces can, but in a different way. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of traditional braces vs Invisalign, one of the biggest factors is the length of treatment.

How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth? It depends on a few different factors, but here’s a general idea of what to expect.

Average Time Frame for Invisalign Treatment

The average range of time that Invisalign treatment takes to straighten teeth is between 9 and 18 months. This is comparable to the time that braces take to achieve the same results, but sometimes braces take a bit longer, reaching 2 or 3 years for some patients.

The reason for the difference is that Invisalign works for many patients, but not necessarily for everyone. If you or your child need extensive corrections or have certain needs that extend beyond the average, Invisalign may not be an option.

What Can Extend Invisalign Treatment Time?

Why doesn’t Invisalign take the same amount of time for everyone? Because each individual case is different. Here are the main factors that affect the length of your treatment.

  • How much you wear your aligners. Invisalign straightens teeth via a series of clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth. It is recommended that you wear your aligners as much as possible, at least 22 hours a day. That gives you a total of two hours each day to have the aligners out for meals and brushing your teeth. The more you wear your aligners, the faster your teeth will reach the desired position and the shorter your total treatment time will be. 
  • The extent of the corrections your teeth require. The further your teeth need to be moved in order to be in proper alignment, the longer your treatment will take. Based on the original digital images of your teeth, Invisalign software creates a complete set of aligners to help you reach your final goal. You wear each aligner as long as your orthodontist recommends (usually about 2 weeks) before switching to the next one. The more your teeth need to be moved, the more aligners you will require, and the longer your treatment will take.
  • Any adjustments to your treatment. Sometimes the treatment plan will need to be adjusted while in progress. If anything major changes about your treatment plan, some new aligners may need to be made, which can extend your overall treatment time.

How Can You Make Your Treatment as Short as Possible?

Invisalign puts you in control of your own treatment in ways that braces don’t. If you want your treatment over with as quickly as possible, here’s what you need to do.

  • Wear your aligners as much as possible. The more time you wear your aligners, the faster your teeth will move. 
  • Follow your orthodontist’s instructions. Wear your aligners and switch them per your orthodontist’s instructions. 
  • Switch aligners at night. If it’s time to switch aligners, put the new one in before you go to bed so you’ll feel less of the initial discomfort and be able to wear them for longer. 
  • Carry a case for your aligners. Always keep a case with you so you don’t lose your aligner if you take it out to eat. Losing one means a new one has to be made, slowing your progress. 
  • Keep your old aligners. Don’t get rid of the aligners you’ve already used. They can come in handy in case you do lose the current one you are on, holding your teeth in place while you wait for your replacement.

Invisalign at Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics

If you’re looking for an Invisalign provider, Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics offers Invisalign as well as traditional braces and other orthodontic treatment options. We will do our best to help you achieve the desired results as quickly as possible. Invisalign is a team effort between the orthodontist, the patient, and the parents in cases of children and teens.

Call to schedule a complimentary consultation at any of our convenient locations:

Minnetonka Office: 952-938-1443

Excelsior Office: 952-474-0288

Wayzata Office: 952-473-1993

Or start your virtual appointment now. We look forward to helping you achieve your best smile.