How Long Does Invisalign® Take?

How Long Does Invisalign® Take?

How Long Does Invisalign® Take? - BracesOrInvisalign.comIn Dentistry, there are different types of services that dentists offer to their patients. Dentists are medical professionals that are specifically the authorities you trust for your oral health. They have gone through further education and training so that they can diagnose, prevent, correct and treat all kinds of dental conditions. Whatever issue you may have with your teeth, the dentist is the person to see; and among the many services that dentists offer, Invisalign® is one of them.

Invisalign® is a known cosmetic alternative to dental braces. When an orthodontic patient would rather not go through treatment with a visible dental appliance in his mouth, he could choose to go through Invisalign® Treatment which makes use of clear or invisible trays called aligners in lieu of brackets, archwires and rubbers to move teeth.

The Treatment Process: How Long Does Invisalign® Take?

Traditionally, Orthodontic Treatments span around 6 months to a year, depending on the severity of the case. Invisalign® treatments are seem to be quicker, given the principle that governs it, but like most things expect for results to take some time. Like most Sciences, Invisalign® follows a precise process and this affects the length of treatment.

Consultation: The first phase of treatment begins when the patient comes in for a consultation. When a patient expresses the desire to undergo Invisalign® treatment, a set of diagnostic aids will be taken: radiographs, photographs and casts so that the case may be assessed properly and a specific treatment may be formulated. This assessment should take some time; a maximum of one month, after which the treatment kit will be presented to the patients along with instructions for treatment. A kit will come with a dozen or two aligners — invisible trays fitted to designate a specific teeth movement that the patient needs to go through. During this phase, you can ask your dentist: “How long does Invisalign® take?” and he can give you a specific time frame. If this is all agreeable wit you, you can proceed to the next phase.

Invisalign® Treatment: The actual treatment is carried out as soon as the first tray is worn by the patient. From the first tray to the last tray, the patient goes through the process, wears every piece of aligner. He starts on the first one in the set and he graduates to the next aligner after a few weeks. This entire process may be facilitated by a dentist or it may be run by the patient on his own, while carefully following the instructions that come with the kit.

Retention: Once the patient goes through all the aligners, the treatment is completed but not officially. As with dental braces, the treatment is not exactly concluded after the brackets are removed. After the patient graduates from the final aligner, the teeth may be in position, but the bone underneath will not yet be completely built. After the patient graduates from the final aligner, the patient should be indicated to wear retainers which will hold the new position of the teeth.

How Long Does Invisalign® Take: Factors that Affect Length of Treatment

As already mentioned treatments can span differently for every patient but they usually go for as long as 6 months to a 2 years. Invisalign® tend to be shorter than traditional braces, so for a lot of reasons, and the overall course of the treatment usually depends on the following things:

  • Specific Case at Hand: The more complicated the case, the many the number of aligners needed. If this is so, the treatment will obviously span longer because the patient will obviously have to go through the whole course to complete the treatment.
  • Ability of Patient to Comply: Especially in Invisalign®, the success of the treatment will depend on the compliance of the patient because it is a removable appliance. Unlike fixed orthodontics where treatments rely on the pressure being exerted on      the teeth as directed by the patient, Invisalign® is only effective when the patient actually makes a responsible decision to wear the aligners.  Sometimes when the aligners are not worn, the teeth shift to uncontrollably to affect the overall course of the treatment. When this happens, the patient will be unable to wear the next series of aligners, voiding the entire kit. This will require for a new set of aligners to be fabricated — causing treatment time to be longer and more expensive.
  • Capacity of Bone to Heal: To most patients, the presence of dental appliance still dictates an ongoing treatment and when the patient is still wearing retainers they feel that the treatment is still actively proceeding. Retainers are essential after      Invisalign® because bone is allowed to heal before it is left alone.  Understand that for teeth to be moved bone had to be broken and it needs to be rebuilt for the teeth to be stable. This stabilization can only be guaranteed when retainers are worn; and the wearing of said retainers will be dependent on the capacity of the patient’s bone to heal.