Invisalign is the innovative orthodontic system that allows you to straighten your teeth almost invisibly! As with any type of orthodontics, the length of time required to give you a beautiful, straight smile with Invisalign varies widely. Some patients achieve their smile goals in as little as ten weeks, while others need years of orthodontic treatment.
When considering the length of time it will take to straighten your teeth, your dentist will first assess the initial tooth position. Patients with severe crowding (or crookedness) or very large spacing will require longer treatment simply due to the amount of tooth movement necessary to put the teeth in the desired final position.
In order to preserve the health of the teeth, gums and bone, tooth movement can only proceed in very small increments (fractions of a millimeter). There is a limit to the amount of movement you can apply to a tooth while maintaining a healthy status. Therefore, the further a tooth needs to move, the longer it will take.
There are also different types of tooth movement involved in orthodontics. Dentists use Invisalign to perform various movements such as rotation, tipping, movement of the entire tooth front-to-back or left-to-right.
Teeth move and maintain their new position within the jawbone by actually changing the shape of the jawbone. The more bony changes required by a certain movement, the more time it will take.
Certain teeth in the mouth are much easier to move than others are. In general, the larger a tooth, the more difficult it is to move. By “larger”, we really mean the structure of the tooth’s roots since they are the portion of the tooth that has to make changes in the jawbone. A large molar with multiple roots is much more difficult to move than a small front tooth with a single, short root.
Invisalign is capable of making changes in someone’s bite. We can address large overbites or underbites with clear aligner therapy. Typically, this type of movement involves moving all of the teeth, including the large, hard-to-move molars. This means changing the bite will increase the length of Invisalign treatment.
Because of the changes in the way our cells overturn and reproduce as we age, tooth movement takes longer the older we are. This is one reason not to put off your own orthodontics. Treatment with Invisalign is faster, easier and more predictable the younger you are.
Older teeth will move. It just takes a little longer.
This is the BIG one for Invisalign patients. The aligners can only do their job when they are in your mouth. Because Invisalign is removable, you are able to “pause” your tooth movement.
This is one of the biggest perks of Invisalign. It allows you to take the aligners out for important events like weddings, speeches, or photo sessions. However, being able to remove the aligners is also a negative aspect of Invisalign treatment.
Not wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours per day makes your treatment take longer.
Some of these factors are things over which you have no control. You cannot change your initial tooth position, the types of movement needed, or your age.
You can affect the length of your Invisalign treatment, though, by following these steps.
Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule a consultation with our Invisalign Experts! We will assess all of these factors in order to give you an idea of how long it will take for you to achieve your dream smile with Invisalign.