How long does Invisalign take to straighten teeth?

Invisalign is an effective orthodontic treatment that is used by dentists for many cases, ranging from mild to severe. From crooked and overcrowded teeth to gaps between teeth, overbite, and underbite, Invisalign is an effective treatment with many benefits. If you are wondering how long does Invisalign take, it will depend on the severity of your case and a variety of factors. Read more to know how to make a well-informed decision.

How Long Does Invisalign Take To Straighten Teeth?

“How long does Invisalign treatment take” is often the first question patients ask their orthodontist. If you have been advised to have an Invisalign treatment, it means your teeth are misaligned and need to be straightened. As for how long it takes for Invisalign to work, this will all depend on your specific case (How does Invisalign work article). While you can start seeing results after the first few weeks, the duration of the treatment can take up to 12 to 18 months. It is also possible you will need a retainer for a period of time after the aligners are removed. That is to make sure your newly straightened teeth don’t shift out of place. Every case is different. Invisalign’s duration all depends on the complexity of your situation.

How fast can Invisalign work?

How quickly does Invisalign work? It depends on many factors that we will discuss below. However, some patients notice the beginning of results within a few weeks into the treatment. Invisalign has a particular benefit, which is the transparency of its aligners. This lets you track the progress and see how fast Invisalign works all through your treatment time. You can read more on how Invisalign works in this article.

While another benefit of Invisalign is the fact that you get to remove your aligners to eat and clean your teeth, it is important to note that Invisalign aligners must be worn at least 20 hours of the day to get the full benefit of the treatment.

Can Invisalign work in 3 months?

While doing your research, you will see that Invisalign's duration is 6 to 18 months in general. However, it is possible for it to be as quick as 3 months. That is if your case is simple and your teeth don’t require extensive straightening. The average time for Invisalign to work is usually  6 to 18 months, depending on many factors. Your dentist or orthodontist will estimate the average Invisalign duration during your first visit assessment.

Average Invisalign times for 4 treatments

How long does Invisalign take for crowded teeth?

The Invisalign treatment is used for most crowded teeth cases. However, in some cases, your dentist will judge braces as more beneficial (Invisalign vs. braces article). Depending on your teeth and how crowded they are, as well as if they need rotating or inclination or jaw-enlargement to create sufficient space, fixing crowded teeth with Invisalign can take up to 18 months. To answer the question of “how long does it take to straighten teeth with Invisalign”, your dentist will assess based on whether your crowded teeth are mild or severe. Mild cases can take just 3 to 6 months to straighten, while more complicated cases can take up to 18 months.
How long does it take to fix an overjet with Invisalign?

An overjet is when the top and bottom teeth overlap horizontally. We also call it “overbite”.
It is possible that an overjet cannot be treated with Invisalign because of a required complex movement. In that case, your dentist will advise you to go for braces (Invisalign vs. braces article). An experienced orthodontist will however be able to use Invisalign safely and effectively to correct an overjet and you will be able to see good results. As for other cases, how long the Invisalign treatment is, will depend on how severe your overjet is. It can require 6 to 24 months of treatment time.

How long does Invisalign take to close a gap?

Gaps between teeth (known as diastema) are one of the most common problems treated with Invisalign. Having gaps between teeth decreases self-confidence as they impact appearance. They also make it hard for someone to clean their teeth properly, leading to tooth decay. How long the Invisalign treatment takes to close a gap between teeth can be as short as 3 to 6 months in simple cases. In more complex and severe cases, the average time for Invisalign to close a gap between teeth is 18 months.

How long does it take to fix an open bite with Invisalign?

An open bite is often difficult for patients as the top and bottom rows of teeth barely touch each other when the mouth is closed. Invisalign aligners can fix this problem and the average Invisalign duration for that case is 12 to 24 months.

How long does it take to see results from Invisalign?

Most of the time, the average time for Invisalign to achieve its full effect is 6 to 18 months. Depending on your specific case and the severity of it, your dentist will inform you of the Invisalign treatment time. Many patients who had the Invisalign treatment reported noticing movement in their teeth after the first few weeks. Others finished their treatments after wearing Invisalign aligners for 6 months. From the amount and type of movement needed for your teeth to other dental restorations, the cause of your treatment will determine the average Invisalign treatment duration. There are a variety of factors that will determine how fast Invisalign will work for your teeth.

5 factors that affect Invisalign treatment time

Invisalign is a great solution for overbite, underbite, crowding, and teeth gaps. How long Invisalign takes can be determined by the severity of your case and other factors. We take a look at them below.

Patient Age

Younger patients have teeth that are easier to realign. Adult teeth can always be straightened as well, but it takes longer with age as adult teeth take longer to start moving.

Patient Compliance & Adherence to Appointments

It is common knowledge that the more compliant a patient is with any treatment, the more efficient the treatment. Switching aligner trays is an important part of the Invisalign treatment. The more you adhere to your dentist visits and the more you wear your aligners (remember they must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day), the faster results you will get.

End of Treatment Adjustments

As much as you will be happy to see results when your Invisalign treatment is over (you can check out Before & After pictures here (Invisalign before and after article), you will still need to be a bit more patient. At the end of the treatment, your orthodontist will take a look at the newly straightened teeth. If the result is not exactly as expected, more aligners can be recommended or retainers to complete alignment.

Damaged Aligners

Because we are human, aligners can be lost or broken during treatment. Due to the fact that new ones will have to be made, this might delay your Invisalign treatment time for a bit. Caring properly for your aligners will help avoid this problem completely.

The severity of your case

Depending on the situation of your teeth and the reason for needing Invisalign treatment, the length of treatment is affected. It is always useful to consider all the different factors, the cost (Invisalign cost article), as well as discuss things with your dentist to make the right decision for you.

Key takeaways about Invisalign duration

So, how long does Invisalign take to work? Based on the factors listed above and on your due diligence (i.e. keeping with your appointments, wearing aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, and switching trays on the time agreed with your dentist), Invisalign treatment can be as short as 6 months or last up to 18 months. It can take 24 months in more severe cases. While Invisalign is an amazing solution for teeth straightening, your dentist will assess and determine which solution is best for you.


How long does an Invisalign consultation take?

Less than an hour! During the first visit, your dentist will assess your situation and advise you on a treatment plan.

How long does 14 trays of Invisalign take?

While some results may be quicker, 14 trays of Invisalign will take approximately 6 to 7 months.

How long does it take to get Invisalign trays after scans?

Once your dentist assesses your situation and goes through your first scans, the trays will be completed within 2 weeks.

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