If you’re looking to straighten your teeth, you’ve probably heard of Invisalign. But how long does Invisalign take to work? Are there ways to shorten treatment time? And how does Invisalign actually work? Our experienced dentists in Omaha, NE are here to answer all of your Invisalign questions!
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a clear, custom-made orthodontic aligner, similar to a retainer. Invisalign’s durable plastic gradually straightens your teeth ‒ similar to traditional braces. While not permanently fixed to your teeth, however, Invisalign aligners work just as fast (if not faster) than braces. We're proud to offer Invisalign in Omaha to help give patients a beautiful, straight smile in the most discreet way possible!
In general, Invisalign is used to treat an assortment of dental issues such as:
Overbites, underbites, and crossbites
How Does Invisalign Work?
This might sound too good to be true, right? You can get straighter teeth without needing braces, and people won't even notice you're wearing your Invisalign aligners! Interested in Invisalign? Here’s how Invisalign works.
Invisalign is made using a 3-D technology that creates your treatment plan. This system allows our dentists to digitally plan out your treatment. From there, sets of transparent aligners are custom-made for your teeth. These trays are worn and exchanged for new sets throughout the straightening process.
Typically, your teeth will move in increments, which means each set of trays will be straighter than the last. Comparable to metal braces, Invisalign aligners gently press on the teeth ‒ carefully moving them into place. It might seem odd to pre-plan each clear aligner before your teeth have started shifting, but you can rest assured knowing Invisalign treatment is highly accurate, efficient, and will only move the teeth that need correction.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
The length of treatment depends on the placement of your teeth. Overall, most adults see results in about a year. For teens, treatment usually takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months. Although, this timeline may be extended if the patient still has teeth growing in or doesn’t wear their Invisalign aligners as recommended (which is 22 hours a day).
Most patients begin to see results after a few weeks, however, regular dentist visits (every four to six weeks) are required to make sure your teeth are moving according to plan. Our dentists will estimate how long long treatment should take during your initial consultation. After Invisalign treatment has ended, wearing a retainer will help keep everything in place.
How Long Do You Have to Wear Invisalign?
How long you’ll need to wear your Invisalign aligners varies. Some patients complete treatment in under six months, while others exceed a year. You should wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, which means you only take them out when eating or to brush your teeth.
The full length of time Invisalign will take to straighten your teeth depends on several factors, including:
Severe alignment issues - Invisalign is designed for moderate misalignment cases. While larger issues can be remedied, these cases often take longer and require more aligners.
Gaps in teeth - For moderate to severe gaps, treatment can take up to 18 months. In some cases, where the jaw is too large (or the teeth are too small), our dentists may recommend alternative treatments, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers.
Crowded teeth - Mild crowding can be corrected in less than six months, while moderate cases usually take closer to a year. The more crowded your teeth are, the further they’ll need to move – which extends treatment time.
Patient age - Because teens are still growing, their teeth typically move easier than adults. Some people’s teeth shift into place faster than others, however, regardless of what age they are.
Compliance - Not wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours a day can extend your treatment time. Additionally, not wearing your aligners for the suggested amount of time can cause your teeth to regress to their original position.
How to Shorten Invisalign Treatment
Here’s another benefit of Invisalign treatment – there are several things you can do to ensure your treatment is as short as possible. Along with following our dentist’s instructions, we recommend:
Wearing your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. While Invisalign should be taken out to eat and brush your teeth, be committed to consistently wearing your aligners. Otherwise, your length of treatment will likely be extended.
Taking care of your aligners. Invisalign aligners should be cleaned once or twice a week to make sure they work properly. If an aligner breaks, let our dentists know so they can prepare a replacement for you.
Swapping out your aligner trays on time. Remembering to replace your aligners is a major part of the process, as your aligners will change as your teeth do.
Being patient. Your teeth and jaw may feel sore at first, but it’s all part of the process. The pain should subside within the first week of treatment.
Interested in Invisalign in Omaha, NE?
For more information, call us at 402-498-8804 or contact Eagle Run West Dental Group in Omaha, NE. Our dentists will assess your personal suitability while giving you an idea of how long Invisalign treatment will take.