Unlike with metal braces, Invisalign works to shift the teeth into their desired new positions over time through a series of custom-made plastic aligner trays. These aligners are clear; therefore virtually undetectable, removable, and rather comfortable for the patient to wear.
With that being said, the average Invisalign treatment time is around 12 months - but there are a number of factors that will affect this duration for each individual patient, considering their unique case. In fact, some people may even require as little as 6 months of wear, whereas others require 18 months or longer.
Below are some of the key factors that will play a role in determining how long you’ll need to be wearing your Invisalign:
Patients with jaws that are a little smaller (or, alternatively, teeth that are a little larger) may have malocclusion due to crowded teeth. While some more mild instances of crowding can be corrected in a shorter time frame, a more moderate or significant degree of crowding will take closer to a year or longer to correct.
Furthermore, if a patient has a very severe case of dental crowding, then the dentist may suggest a different orthodontic treatment option before Invisalign, or altogether.
Also referred to as “diastemata”, the gaps that can occur between the teeth may be a result of tissue overgrowth, or may result from teeth that are small in comparison to the jawbone. So naturally, larger gaps or spaces between the teeth will require a longer duration of Invisalign treatment time (generally closer to 18 months) - vs. smaller gaps that will take less time to close up.
As is the case with teeth crowding, if a patient has particularly large tooth gaps to correct, the dentist may recommend an alternative orthodontic treatment plan or course of action.
Age and genetics also has an impact on the amount of time a person will need to wear their aligners for. Since children and teens are still growing, their teeth tend to shift more quickly than adults. And genetically, some people just have teeth that move faster than others (who ever said life was fair?!) The good news is, a person is never too old for their aligner treatment to work considering they are in good general health.
For your Invisalign treatment to work most efficiently, you’ll need to ensure that you’re wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. This means you should try your best to only remove the aligners before you eat, drink anything other than water, brush your teeth or brush and floss. Any other time, and those trays should ideally be in!
The less time you spend wearing your Invisalign® aligners, the more time treatment will take to complete - and you may even find your progress regressing as your teeth shift back to where you don’t want them to be.
Our expert dentist Dr. Maureen Fenn would be pleased to consult with you to help determine whether you’re a candidate for Invisalign. She will also be able to give you a more detailed idea about how long treatment may be for you and your unique bite.
Schedule your Invisalign consultation at Danforth Dental Care today, and take the first step to achieving a straighter and stunning smile!
We are conveniently located near Greektown on the TTC Danforth Avenue subway line between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue.
1411 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4J 1N2