How Long Does Invisalign Take? A Full Timeline

July 18, 2022

Invisalign is a system of clear plastic aligners that gradually shift the patient’s teeth and jaw into the correct position. If you’re considering Invisalign treatment, you might be curious about the timeline. How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth?

How long you’ll wear Invisalign depends on the number of aligners that your teeth need. While the average Invisalign case takes 12 months, treatment could range anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

Consulting with an orthodontist is the best way to discover your exact Invisalign timeline. However, this article provides a general overview of the treatment process. Keep reading to learn more!

When Will You Start Seeing Invisalign Results?

In the first phase of Invisalign treatment, clear aligners are used to apply gentle pressure on the patient’s teeth, gums and other soft tissues. This will result in gaps closing and your teeth shifting into their correct position.

Most Invisalign patients will start to see noticeable results within the first three months. Occasionally, some patients will notice an improvement after two weeks, but this result is less common.

It’s important to remember that Invisalign works gradually. It takes time for clear aligners to deliver noticeable results, so you shouldn’t give up if you don’t see an improvement right away.

If you haven't noticed any changes after the first five months, make an appointment with your orthodontist. They will examine your mouth to see what might be delaying your treatment from working.

How Long Does it Take Invisalign to Straighten Teeth? 

On average, Invisalign takes between 12 and 18 months to fully straighten teeth. However, this timeline can vary depending on your individual case, your desired results and how compliant you are with your treatment plan.

The severity of your case will largely determine the length of your treatment time. For example, someone with mild crowding or gaps between their teeth may find that they are able to complete their treatment in less than a year. On the other hand, someone with more severe problems may need to stay under the care of our team for 18-24 months.

As an Invisalign patient, you must wear your aligners for at least 20 - 22 hours a day. If you take them off, the alignment process will “pause,” and your progress will begin to reverse if the aligners are out for too long. So don't forget to put them back after eating and brushing!

How Long Do Invisalign Results Last?

Invisalign provides permanent results if you follow the post-treatment protocol prescribed by your orthodontist. For most patients, this includes wearing a retainer to make sure you maintain your smile even after Invisalign treatment is complete.

According to a study conducted by the American College of Prosthodontists and the Academy of General Dentistry, Invisalign results deteriorate significantly in just four weeks if patients do not wear their post-treatment retainer for more than two hours a day.

Luckily, there are many types of retainers available for different lifestyles, so the chances of running into any major issues are low. Just make sure you adhere to the post-treatment instructions given to you by your orthodontist.

Will I Need A Retainer After Invisalign Treatment?

Yes. Don’t lose the results that you’ve worked so hard for – the only way to maintain your improved smile is to wear your retainer.

After completing Invisalign treatment, patients are usually advised to wear their retainer for 24 hours during the first year. A retainer will help your teeth stay aligned and prevent relapse. 

After the first year, patients typically only need to wear their aligner for 8 to 10 hours at night. Once your tissues have hardened to a certain extent, wearing a retainer during the day is not necessary.

Certain factors affect how you should wear your post-treatment retainer, so be sure to follow your orthodontist’s exact instructions. If you have any questions, let your orthodontist know. They can provide professional guidance to ensure your post-treatment process goes smoothly.

Ready To Learn More About Invisalign?

As we covered, there are various factors that come into play with the time it takes to see results from Invisalign. However, a new and improved smile is worth the wait!

The information in this article provides some basic expectations, but you shouldn’t rely on it. For more personalized advice, consult with a qualified orthodontist.

If you are located in Tucson, Arizona, contact Orthodontic Specialists of Tucson to see if Invisalign is right for you or your child.

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