Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth without the hassle or discomfort of traditional metal braces. People often wonder “How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth?” A course of treatment with Invisalign takes 12 months for most adults, although actual time will vary from person to person. Many people start seeing a difference in their teeth within two to three months of starting to use the aligners.
Why Does the Time Vary from Person to Person?
More severe alignment issues will naturally take more time to fix, while small changes will happen more quickly. When we tell patients this, we often get more specific questions about how long Invisalign will take. For example:
How long does Invisalign take for crowded teeth?
A very mild case of crowding might take as little as six months to fix. More severe issues will take longer, though in these cases your orthodontist might recommend removing teeth or using headgear.
How long does Invisalign take to close a gap?
Small gaps can take as little as eight weeks to fix. That said, the issue with gaps is that they tend to reform if you don’t use proper retention methods. So plan on getting a retainer, too, to keep the gap closed after treatment.
How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth for adults?
Not really. In fact, we have found that Invisalign takes a little longer to work in teenagers–but this probably has more to do with wearing them the appropriate amount of time, not anything to do with the structure of younger mouths. If you are thinking of Invisalign for a teenager, definitely check out Invisalign for teens.
Even if your teeth only need small corrections, treatment can take longer if you do not wear your aligner trays for the recommended amount of time (usually 22 hours over the course of a day).
Finally, people are just different when it comes to how their mouths are built. One person’s teeth might move easily, while another person’s are a little more stubborn. There is no way to tell how easily your mouth will change until you begin the course of treatment. This is why the time needed for Invisalign to work varies from person to person.
How Long Until You Get Results?
Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces
Invisalign works more quickly. Traditional metal braces often take an average of two years (24 months) to achieve their full effect. Invisalign works in half that time!
Invisalign is more convenient. Traditional braces are also more of a hassle because they are attached directly to your teeth. Invisalign aligner trays are removable, meaning you can take them out to eat, brush, speak in public, etc. While you still need to wear them for at least 22 hours a day to get their full effect, it’s still nice to have the option of removing them.
Visits to the orthodontist are the same. Just as traditional braces need to be tightened every two to three weeks, you will need to get a new set of Invisalign aligner trays about every two weeks. So the number of visits to the orthodontist are roughly the same.
Aligner trays are less prone to breaks. Sure, Invisalign trays can break if you’re not careful with them. But it is far more common to have the wire snap on a set of metal braces or have a bracket fall off. When metal braces break, it means a delay in moving your teeth and an extra trip to the orthodontist. This can lengthen your treatment.