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LAST UPDATED: OCTOBER 31, 2017
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
In the past decade, Invisalign has become an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment. Patients enjoy that it is slightly more discreet than clunky metal braces, so the aligners are a great choice for patients who want to avoid noticeable orthodontic devices while they are straightening your teeth. Though aligners are a great way to fix misaligned teeth, a lot of people still do not know much about them. One of the most commonly asked questions is from people wondering if the aligners take a long time to become effective.
How Does Invisalign Work?
In order to find an estimated treatment time for aligners, it is necessary to understand how they function. The aligner system involves a set of clear trays molded from medical grade resin. Your orthodontist will create a 3D image of your teeth and create a custom treatment plan. Aligners are then cast based on your individual mouth shape, and they are designed in a shape that applies gentle pressure to the teeth. Every two weeks or so, you switch to a new set of aligners that further brings your teeth into the correct position. Over time, your teeth will gradually move into their correct positions.
What Is the Average Treatment Time Length?
Aligner treatment time varies greatly depending on a patient’s needs. Some people may just need to wear the aligners for about six months, while others may end up using the product for a few years. If your teeth are very far away from their proper position, the process will take longer, but if your teeth are almost entirely straight already, it is a much quicker procedure. Generally, the amount of time an orthodontic patient will wear aligners is about nine to 15 months. However, some patients only need to wear them for six months, while others end up using them for up to 36 months.
Are Aligners Faster than Braces?
Most patients are interested in knowing how aligners compare to more traditional metal braces, and many assume that clear trays must not be as effective as heavy arches of metal. However, this is normally not the case. Aligners change the position of each tooth individually, while metal options work by pulling all of the teeth together into one general direction. This means that movements are spread out over the entire mouth with metal orthodontic devices, instead of focusing on the teeth that actually need to move. Therefore, traditional metal options can lead to slightly longer treatment time. Generally, the treatment time is about the same, but aligners can sometimes be slightly faster.
Are There Any Reasons That Would Slow Down Treatment?
The one downside to aligners is that the custom molding and imaging process is a little lengthy. This is normally not an issue if an orthodontist can create a treatment plan that works without any corrections from start to finish. However, it is very common for patients to need a mid-course correction. When this happens, they will have to wait for a new set of trays to be printed. Depending on shipping and how busy the molding company is, this can add a few weeks or so to a patient’s treatment time frame.
How Quickly Do Aligners Move Teeth?
Aligners can move teeth up to .25 mm with each new tray. This means that it is possible for teeth to move .25 mm every time a tray is changed which is normally every two weeks. Orthodontists may recommend slightly slower treatment times in order to reduce any discomfort. However, it is ultimately possible to shift teeth the maximum amount with each new tray change. Though .25 mm may not seem like a lot, it is enough to result in a visible change within just a month.
Is There Any Way to Speed Up the Process?
You will get the fastest results by following any instructions given to you by your orthodontist. Patients are normally told to wear their trays for 20 to 22 hours each day and switch the trays roughly every two weeks. You should not switch your tray early, because your teeth might not be ready for that yet, but you can wear your trays for the maximum amount of time each day. This will help the process to progress at the fastest possible rate. If you want to hurry up the process, you may be able to talk to your doctor and see if it is alright to change your aligner trays at a slightly faster rate.
Schedule an Appointment at McDermott Orthodontics
If you live in Minnesota, then you can schedule an appointment at McDermott Orthodontics. Dr. Michael McDermott has been offering personalized orthodontic treatments to children, teenagers, and adults for over 15 years. Patients who visit McDermott Orthodontics receive a free consultation to discuss their treatment options that might include:
• Metallic braces
• Invisalign aligners for teenagers or adults
• Ceramic brackets and clear wires
Invisalign aligners are appropriate for teenage or adult patients who have mild malocclusions. McDermott Orthodontics offers treatments to patients in four locations:
• Brainerd – 218-829-1630
• Pequot Lakes – 218 -568-5600
• Delano – 763-972-4444
• Baxter -218-829-1630
Call McDermott Orthodontics today to schedule your first appointment.
708 Elm Ave. E.
How long does Invisalign take?
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.