Many patients opt for Invisalign because of its convenience. The aligners are clear, comfortable, and can be removed as needed for eating, drinking, and brushing. With all this convenience, some patients believe that their treatment will take less time than traditional braces would. While this is sometimes the case, it isn’t always true. When asked “How long does Invisalign take to work?”, the simplest answer for our team to give is “it depends.” It depends on your complexity, your oral health, and, most importantly, your responsibility.

Complexity & Oral Health

The average Invisalign case takes about 9 to 18 months. However, this isn’t always the case. You may have crowded teeth or a gap between your front teeth. Only a few teeth may be crooked, or you could have a severe overbite or underbite.

Teeth also move at different paces from patient to patient. Some gaps between teeth only take six months. Others may take as long as two years.

This is why we offer free consultations at our Reading orthodontist. Our doctors can’t accurately estimate your treatment length without seeing the complexity of your case first. Sometimes, doctors may recommend against the aligners or encourage patients to pursue alternative options first, like a jaw expander or palatal expander.

Responsibility & Compliance

While aligners may be easier for the patient to take care of, the aligners do pose some challenges for orthodontists. Orthodontists ultimately have more control over traditional braces because they can be adjusted as needed. Also, patients can’t take off their braces!

Invisalign, on the other hand, allows patients to remove their aligners. This is fine for eating, but the aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours per day if they are to be effective. Many patients have no trouble following this rule, but there are some who lack the discipline the aligners require. This often leads to them returning to our office for another round of care.

What Else Affects Invisalign?

There are a few other key factors that will affect your aligners’ success.

  • Proper Oral Hygiene: Like with braces, failing to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth can lead to decay and treatment failure.
  • Orthodontist Visits: Having aligners doesn’t mean visiting the orthodontist less. You’ll require new trays every two to three weeks.
  • Age: As we get older, it takes longer for teeth to move into place, so Invisalign treatments may be less predictable.

Let Your Smile Shine

It’s no wonder why Invisalign is one of the most popular orthodontic treatments around. To learn more about how Invisalign aligners can change your life, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with our team. We’ll take x-rays, devise a treatment plan, and help you understand just how long Invisalign takes to work.