So you’re looking at undergoing Invisalign treatment to aid your journey to a straighter smile? That’s great and it’s only natural that you’ll want to see results as quickly as possible – because for many of our patients, knowing how long their treatment will take is a big factor in their decision-making process.
While we’d love to snap our fingers and give you your dream smile instantly… it’s a bit more complicated than that. To straighten your teeth properly and safely takes time and a little patience, with no shortcuts allowed. So if you’re thinking about having Invisalign braces, just how long will it take to really make a difference to your smile?
How quickly can Invisalign fix my smile?
The truth is, we can’t say for certain! Unless we’ve assessed you personally for brace treatment, it’s very hard to be specific. Each patient has different goals and your treatment time really does depend on how your teeth are individually positioned and how many teeth we need to shift.
That said…we can give you a general answer.
For instance, if you’ve only got mild crowding and just want to make a few tweaks here and there, you might qualify for the speedy version of Invisalign called i7, which only takes around 14 weeks. But, for the average patient – with moderate crowding – Invisalign braces typically take around 12 months. On the other hand, if your case is a little more complex, you can expect your treatment to take longer.
On the plus side, what we absolutely love about this brace system is that your individual case is planned to a tee using high-tech 3D treatment software. Once you’ve committed to Invisalign, this software shows you how your teeth will move with a virtual image of your mouth, giving you a pretty accurate idea of how long your treatment is likely to take.
Fair enough, but when will I start to see a difference?
We know you’ll be desperate to see changes as soon as possible but Invisalign – just like traditional braces – work to move your teeth gradually for optimal results. In fact, each aligner is designed to shift the teeth in 0.25mm increments for precision and minimal discomfort.
It’s unrealistic to begin treatment and expect to wake up the next week and see a dramatic difference. But, the good news is that you won’t have to wait too long! Although every patient is different, some will start to notice slight changes to their smile in as little as 10-12 weeks.
What can make my Invisalign treatment longer?
There are a few things that might affect your Invisalign treatment length. For example, this brace system works by using a series of clear aligners that are removable for eating, drinking, and brushing – but otherwise, they need to be worn between 20-22 hours a day to do their job properly.
Say you forget to wear your aligners on a regular basis or keep taking them out for long periods, this would definitely prolong your treatment. In this instance, it’s likely that your Invisalign dentist will make you wear each aligner for longer than originally planned to get back on track.
Another reason your treatment might take longer is if your case is particularly tricky and there are a few teeth that need shifting around. While Invisalign is great for most people, it can’t move teeth as drastically as traditional metal braces can, meaning that complex cases can be a little bit more challenging for these clear aligners.
Lastly, there’s also the chance that once you’ve made it to the end of your treatment time, you’d just like to make a few more slight tweaks here and there. That’s okay because Invisalign generously allows a few extra aligners to make sure your smile is perfect but doing so might also push you outside of your estimated time frame.
So what can I do to make my treatment quicker?
Good co-operation is the key! To keep your treatment as short as possible, always follow the instructions given by your Invisalign dentist as closely as possible. That means wearing your aligners for the recommended time, changing them over on the correct date, and not skipping your orthodontic appointments…
Another piece of advice is to care for your Invisalign aligners properly. Brush them carefully to remove any food particles that might be hanging around and make sure you deep clean them once a week, at the very least! What’s more, if one of your aligners becomes cracked or even lost, make sure you let your Invisalign dentist know ASAP so a new aligner can be ordered quickly, with minimal downtime.
TIP: Always put your aligners straight into their carry case when you remove them and not into a tissue! We couldn’t tell you the amount times we’ve heard of them being scooped up inside a tissue as rubbish and accidentally thrown away…
Invisalign braces at Evergreen Dental
Although Invisalign treatment is nowhere near as intrusive as traditional metal braces, the speedier it is, the closer you are to the smile you’ve always wanted. For a more accurate timeline, book a consultation with Dr Chou and the team today on (02) 8074 3849 Whatever the time frame, we think that a short while spent wearing clear braces is worth it for a lifetime of straight teeth and happy smiling!