The Length of Invisalign Orthodontic Therapy

Invisalign Visalia, CA

Considering Invisalign®? This clear aligner therapy is offered by general dentists in an effort to straighten crooked or crowding teeth. Additionally, recent advancements have allowed for Invisalign® to also be used for minor bite correction.

The Invisalign® process is different than any other orthodontic treatment for a number of reasons, including the benefits that it has to offer for oral health, the timeline, and how the teeth are actually shifted. Continue reading to find out more.

The Invisalign® treatment process

Below is a quick overview of the Invisalign® treatment process, including what is involved and the expected timeline. This information may be helpful to review when considering the different treatment options that a general dentist offers.

What is involved

Invisalign® treatment is different than traditional approaches like braces. Instead of visiting the dentist for multiple appointments at the beginning, the patient usually only has to visit the dentist two to three times. The first step is to evaluate the mouth and take scans. The scans are sent to a dental lab where the custom clear aligners are made. After a few weeks of waiting, the patient returns to start the process.

To start the process, the dentist will provide the patient with the very first set of aligners in the entire series. The dentist will ensure that the fit is proper and the patient understands what needs to be done on a daily basis. From there on out, the treatment process is relatively straightforward. 

Aligners are most often switched out every other month, which allows for fewer visits to the general dentist's office. During the wearing hours, which should be 22 hours a day, the patient is advised to avoid bad habits like nail-biting or smoking tobacco products. Oral hygiene can easily be achieved since the aligners are removable. However, it should also be done thoroughly. For example, after eating, it is advised to brush and rinse if possible to avoid bacterial growth once the aligner is re-inserted. However, the fact that one can eat without having to worry about stuck food in wires or brackets is a big plus in favor of aligners.

The timeline

The expected timeline for Invisalign® varies per person as everyone has varying needs. However, for the most part, general dentists state that the treatment process can take anywhere from six months to a year. This, of course, is the general expectation for minor to moderate problems. In the case of moderate to severe teeth or bite problems, the general dentist may make a longer estimate for how long the treatment process may take. 

It is important to know that there are factors that play a role in the timeline. For example, the aligners are to be worn for 22 hours per day. However, because they are removable, it can be easy not to actually accomplish this. If the individual chooses to wear the aligners for less than 22 hours per day, the timeline becomes at risk and so do the actual results of the treatment. A lack of discipline with wear times can lead to a longer treatment process, which will not only take up more time but money too. 

In some cases, Invisalign may take longer than the expected timeline due to natural causes. Not everyone's teeth shift at the rate that the dentist predicts at the start. Some individuals may experience longer shift times, which is a possibility. On the flip side, it is also possible that the desired results are achieved quicker than what is anticipated. 

Other things to know

When it comes to Invisalign® treatment, it is important to understand what factors may influence how long the treatment process takes. One may think that because the aligners are removable, the process is more flexible; however, this is not the case. Wearers of Invisalign® must abide by the 22 hours a day rule. This is crucial, as a relaxed approach to wearing them could result in delays. Additional aligners may have to be created to extend the treatment process. 

Find out more from a general dentist

When considering Invisalign® for teeth straightening needs, the best thing to do is start by consulting with a general dentist. An evaluation can be performed to determine if this clear aligner therapy is an appropriate option, as well as how long the entire treatment may take. From there, the dentist can also answer any questions or go over any concerns about what is involved. To learn more about Invisalign® or to get scheduled for an appointment, reach out today. 

Request an appointment here: or call Visalia Care Dental at (559) 975-1213 for an appointment in our Visalia office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Invisalign in Visalia, CA.

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