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How Long Does it Take for Invisalign to Work?

Invisalign is being hailed as a less invasive alternative to metal braces for teeth straightening. But how long does it take for Invisalign to work?

Everyone deserves a chance to have a smile that they can be proud of. Which is why people often endure the discomfort of wearing metallic braces for several years to achieve a perfectly straightened set of teeth.

Fortunately, a new orthodontic treatment is offering a less invasive method for straightening your teeth and has already started to replace braces. Dubbed Invisalign, this treatment consists of flexible, clear aligners that are comfortable and essentially invisible inside your mouth.

But how long does it take for Invisalign to work?

The simple answer is: It depends. For simple cases, the treatment can take as little as 6 months. However, its recommended use, as mentioned by accredited dentists, is around 12 to 18 months. 

Of course, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of treatment, and the exact treatment time will vary according to the needs of each person’s teeth. Luckily for you, the guide below is going to tell you all about Invisalign, how it works, and the factors that influence the treatment time.  


What is Invisalign and How Does it Work?

Invisalign technology consists of clear, transparent, and comfortable alignment trays that fit over your teeth. 

These trays work the same way as braces, removing gaps, crookedness, or crowding in your teeth over a period of time. 

In other words, they slowly move your teeth back into their proper position without causing you any pain or discomfort. 

Patients are allowed to remove their Invisalign trays when they’re eating or drinking anything other than water, and while they’re brushing their teeth. 


How Long Does Invisalign Take to Work?

According to our qualified dentists here at Porter Ranch Dental Studio, a typical Invisalign treatment can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to work. One set of Invisalign aligners usually works for about a week or two until they need to be replaced by another set. 

Dentists also advise that you wear these aligners for most of your day. And that includes when you’re sleeping as well, to ensure that the treatment takes as little time as possible. 

You should know, however, that in extreme cases like major crowding or severe gaps in your teeth, treatment with Invisalign can even take up to 24 months. 

Gaps greater than 5mm especially take a long time to close and may require other treatment methods in addition to Invisalign

Here are some additional factors that can impact your exact treatment time with Invisalign:

  • The exact distance your teeth have to move to achieve the ideal orthodontic outcome.
  • The pace at which your teeth move is different from person to person. 
  • The complexity of your case. For example, the treatment time for just misalignment, crowding, and gapped teeth may only be 6-12 months. However, if you’re suffering from all of them then the treatment can take significantly longer. 
  • How compliant you are with your dentist’s instructions on how long you’re supposed to wear your Invisalign. 

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Fix Overbite?

Overbite is a condition in which the upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth in your mouth. In most cases, it’s probably due to genetics or a few specific childhood habits like prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use. 

Typical cases of overbite can be treated using Invisalign in 12 to 18 months. However, if you’re also suffering from crowded or gapped teeth then the treatment could take as long as 24 months and require some essential post-op care. 

How Long Does it Take to Get Invisalign?

Invisalign may be a more favorable option than traditional braces for most people, but at the end of the day, it is your dentist who decides the kind of treatment you’ll be getting. 

Your dentist will then perform an initial examination of your teeth, which may involve x-rays, and discuss your treatment goals and expectations. 

If they decide that an Invisalign treatment will work best for you, then they’ll create a digital 3D model of your teeth and plan how your teeth will move during different stages of the treatment. This will take another 2 to 3 weeks. 

Your custom aligners will then be ordered and manufactured, which will take close to another 4 weeks. 

Lastly, once your aligners are ready, you’ll have a fitting appointment, in which your dentist will ensure that the aligners fit properly and teach you how to wear and care for them. In short, the entire process could take around 7-8 weeks. 

Invisalign Specialist

Top-Rated dentist in Porter Ranch, Dr. Alex Dolgov specializes in Invisalign in the Los Angeles area

Recommended Daily Time for Wearing Invisalign

For your Invisalign to do its job in the timeframe that you want, you’ll have to make sure that you wear it daily for the time recommended by your dentist. 

In most cases, the daily recommended time for wearing Invisalign is 20-22 hours, since you’re allowed to take off your Invisalign when you’re eating and brushing your teeth.  

Also, make sure you get a new set of aligners from your dentist in a week or two. 


Is Invisalign Better than Wearing Braces?

Invisalign is definitely better than wearing braces. For one, it takes much less time for Invisalign to work than it does for braces. 

Invisalign is also more visually appealing as its flexible, invisible, and transparent nature makes it incredibly hard for people to detect you’re wearing aligners. It doesn’t show up in photos either, except if they are close-up shots of your smile. 

But undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of invisible aligners over traditional braces is that you don’t have to alter your diet after wearing them. If you’re wearing traditional braces you can’t eat crunchy, hard, or sticky foods because they could break a wire or bracket. 

With Invisalign, however, you don’t have to worry about any such problem as you can take them out whenever you’re about to eat something and insert them back in once you’re done. 

Pro-Tip: Flexible spending accounts do not roll over to the next year, so make a plan to spend it all if your employer offers the benefits.


Meet the Invisalign Experts Here at Porter Ranch Dental Studio

While an Invisalign treatment is generally harmless, the time it takes to work can depend on the expertise of the dentist who ordered them for you. The manufacturing requirements would need to be adjusted according to the specific size and structure of your jaw, which essentially means you’ll need an experienced expert. 

Keeping that in mind, you can schedule your invisalign appointment with Dr. Thu Hoang or Dr. Alex Dolgov here at Porter Ranch Dental Studios. 

Both of these accredited and certified dentists have been straightening patients’ smiles with Invisalign for decades now. They’re also familiar with all the different cases where a patient may need Invisalign. 

Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment

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Dr. Thu Hoang

Dr. Thu Hoang

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