How Long Does Invisalign Take?

Nov 4, 2022 | Cosmetic Dentistry, Invisalign

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

How long does Invisalign take? Invisalign can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. Our average Invisalign case take 6-9 months. Our longest case took three years. Keep reading to find out what makes Invisalign faster or slower…

To hear from our patients about their Invisalign experiences, check out Invisalign Before & After.

Factors that affect Invisalign treatment speed

Obviously straightening teeth that are more crooked takes more time than straightening teeth that are less crooked. However, there are other factors as well and some of them depend on the patient.

Wearing Your Trays Makes It Go Faster

Every Invisalign patient knows that they need to wear their trays at least 22 hours a day. If the trays aren’t in your mouth, your teeth aren’t moving. When patients don’t wear their trays enough, the teeth don’t move at the rate that they should and sometimes the trays stop fitting. When this happens you have to pause treatment, re-scan and order a new set of trays. This adds up to an additional month to treatment.

Stubborn Bone Makes for Slower Treatment

I mentioned above that our longest case took 3 years. In that case, the patient’s bone was unusually dense or “stubborn.” Instead of allowing the trays to smoothly re-arrange the teeth, the bone held on extra hard. The teeth still moved, but it took longer. We could have left last tooth a little crooked and called it good, but we like to get it right. Most patients don’t want to go through a long process and then settle for second best results. That being said, the vast majority of cases finish in under eighteen months. Three years is an unusually long case.

Losing / Damaging Your Trays Slows It Down

Invisalign trays are made from plastic and go in and out of your mouth (mostly in please!). This means that under special circumstances they can be lost, damaged or destroyed. You wrap them in a napkin at a restaurant and the waiter throws them away when you’re not looking. You forget them in your car after eating breakfast on the drive to work and they get distorted by the Texas heat. Your dog pulls them from the bathroom counter and chews them to bits while you brush your teeth at night. It happens. You lose your next set of trays. All these things happen in real life to nice, normal people. Oftentimes, we can find a solution that doesn’t involve ordering new trays. However, when new trays are required, it adds several weeks to your treatment time.

Are you dreaming of straighter teeth?

Do you know someone who’s dreaming of straighter teeth?

To learn more about Invisalign vs Braces, check out our blog.


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