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How Long Is Invisalign Treatment

July 16, 2020

How Long is Invisalign Treatment?

Are you looking for ways to straighten your teeth? While not long ago, metal braces were the only treatment choice for people with crooked teeth, many people are now choosing Invisalign instead.

Invisalign treatment is a popular option that uses clear plastic aligners instead of metal hardware. Invisalign has the benefit of being much less noticeable than traditional metal braces, making it particularly suitable for older teens and adults who prefer a subtler appearance. If you want to straighten your teeth quicker or to attend a special event without the fear of metal mouth, Invisalign might be right for you.

But how long does Invisalign treatment take, and how does it compare to traditional metal braces?

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

Whether you never had braces as a child or your teeth shifted back into a misaligned position after you stopped wearing a retainer, Invisalign can effectively straighten your teeth.

While treatment time varies for everybody, it doesn’t take as long as you might assume. Some patients complete their treatment in as little as six months, and many people start seeing results after just a few weeks. On average, Invisalign takes about 12 months to straighten teeth. Some people may need to continue treatment for up to 18 months.

Variations in Treatment Time

However, many factors can affect how long Invisalign takes to work. After the treatment is complete, wearing a retainer consistently will make sure your smile stays straight.

Here are a few important factors that might affect how long Invisalign takes:Orthodontic Art shows a photo of Invisalign for teeth straightening.
Gaps in teeth
Patient age
Compliance to the treatment plan


Whether your teeth are under- or over-crowded, the severity of your teeth’s crookedness will have an impact on the length of your Invisalign treatment.

If your teeth are very close together (crowded), Invisalign will help move them farther apart to straighten them. The more severely crowded your teeth are, the farther Invisalign will need to move them. As a result, minor cases might only take six months to resolve, while an average, moderate case will take around a year.

Likewise, teeth that are too far apart (a condition called diastemata) can also be treated with Invisalign. Diastemata can occur when the teeth are proportionally small compared to the jawbone, or when too much tissue grows between the teeth. Either way, Invisalign treatment will straighten your teeth in about the same time: 12 months on average. It’s particularly important to wear a retainer after your treatment if you have gapped teeth, as gapped teeth are more likely to regress over time.

If you have both severe crowding and gaps between your teeth, you can expect your Invisalign treatment to take closer to 18 months. In some cases, a dentist might recommend a separate treatment before or after Invisalign to ensure proper straightenings, such as veneers or bonding.

Patient Age

Invisalign is effective in both teens and adults; however, teens may find their treatment takes less time than adults. Because a teenager’s mouth is still growing and changing, their teeth are easier to move.

That’s not to say that all teenagers will have a shorter treatment time than adults. Everyone’s mouth is different, and some adults might have a shorter treatment time than most teens. Adults are also more likely to wear their aligners as often as recommended, which can shorten treatment significantly. In any case, Invisalign works on adults of all ages, no matter your age.

Compliance to Treatment Plan

Whether or not you adhere to the treatment plan, your dentist gives you also has a significant impact on how long Invisalign takes. Patients who don’t wear their aligners enough will find that their treatment takes much longer. It might take a few days to get used to how Invisalign feels on your teeth. Over time, though, they will become much less noticeable.

Invisalign should be worn at least 22 hours a day to work best. While Invisalign should be removed for cleaning, eating, and brushing your teeth, they should be worn at all other times — including when you’re asleep.

If you don’t wear them enough, you might notice your teeth regressing to a crooked state. Always be sure to clean your aligners thoroughly and avoid using hot water on them to prevent warping. Keeping your teeth and your aligners sanitary will help Invisalign work as quickly as possible. Follow your dentist’s instructions closely for best results.

Comparison to Metal BracesOrthodontic Arts OKC shows a photo of Invisalign.

In many cases, Invisalign is faster than traditional metal braces, even though Invisalign is not affixed to the teeth like braces are. It can often take two years or more for braces to straighten teeth, while Invisalign is usually complete within 18 months. The most obvious advantage to Invisalign is its appearance, but metal braces have other disadvantages when compared to Invisalign as well.

Invisalign is much more durable than braces. While braces are made of thin metal wire and rubber bands, Invisalign treatment uses durable clear plastic that is much more difficult to damage or break.

Metal braces treatment is less than convenient than Invisalign and comes with a host of dietary restrictions. To avoid damaging your braces, you can’t eat a variety of foods, including anything crunchy, chewy, or sticky, like pretzels, caramel, or popcorn. Braces are worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On the other hand, Invisalign is removed while you eat, meaning there are no dietary restrictions during the treatment. This also makes it much easier to keep both your aligners and your teeth clean.

More Information on Invisalign Treatment

The best way to find out if Invisalign is right for you is to visit a qualified dentist. They will be able to give you personalized information about the length of Invisalign treatment that is based on your teeth in particular.

If you’re looking for an exceptional orthodontist, Orthodontist Arts specializes in a variety of treatments for dental concerns. Contact Orthodontist Arts today to schedule an exam and determine the best treatment plan for you.

Orthodontic Arts, your number one Orthodontist in OKC. Our Certified Orthodontist provides the latest and greatest Orthodontic practices to our clients in the OKC and Midtown area. Orthodontic Arts is the best place for child and teen orthodontics as well as adult orthodontics. Be sure to ask about Invisalign and invisible braces! Contact us today at (405) 604-3745 or request an appointment.