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How Long Do You Have To Wear Invisalign?

How Long Do You Have To Wear Invisalign?

June 28, 2024

Millions of teens and adults have fixed imperfections in their smiles using Invisalign and other clear aligners, such as SureSmile®. Invisalign and similar treatments use a series of clear, plastic alignment trays to correct problems with bite (malocclusion) and alignment issues with teeth. Most people complete treatment with Invisalign in about one year. But each person is unique. Therefore, how long you’ll have to wear Invisalign will depend on several factors. For the best estimate of your treatment duration, ask your dentist.

Factors that Influence Treatment Duration With Invisalign

Three primary factors that will determine how long you'll have to wear Invisalign

  1. Severity of misalignment
  2. Existence and class of malocclusion
  3. Compliance with treatment

Severity of Misalignment of Teeth

Minor alignment issues with, for example, a couple of teeth can be treated quickly with clear aligners. Treatment for minor issues may be complete within six months, at which point you’ll transition to wearing a retainer.

If you have more significant issues, such as crowded teeth, gapped teeth, or slanted teeth your treatment may extend beyond 12 months. However, even those with significant misalignments typically complete Invisalign treatment within 18 months.

Existence of Malocclusion

Malocclusion is a problem with the bite. Overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite are all classes of malocclusion. Correcting a bite issue can take up to 2 years of Invisalign treatment. Your treatment will also likely include the use of elastics (rubber bands) to shift the jaw into proper alignment.

Patient Compliance

Your expected treatment duration is determined based on a presumption that patients wear the trays at least 20-22 hours each day. Because patients are responsible for the success of their treatment, failing to wear the trays as instructed will lead to delayed results, and therefore a longer treatment time.  

Can Clear Aligners Treat Issues Faster Than Braces?

For minor to moderate alignment issues, clear aligners often work faster than traditional braces. This is because clear aligners apply pressure to all of the teeth simultaneously. By contrast, traditional braces often work to shift teeth individually.

Treatment with clear aligners also requires fewer dental appointments and allows you to eat whatever you want. The alignment trays are discreet, so they are not nearly as obvious as braces. You can remove them for photos, dinners with friends, and even for a couple of hours at special events.  

Frequently Asked Questions about Clear Aligners 

What other cosmetic dental services do you offer?

Dr. Dennis provides comprehensive cosmetic dental treatments including dental veneers, teeth whitening, and cosmetic bonding. In addition, Dr. Dennis provides facial aesthetics including Botox, fillers, and laser lip enhancement, facial rejuvenation, and wrinkle reduction.

Can I get clear aligners if I have dental crowns?

Yes. The alignment trays are custom-made for your mouth, and your trays will fit securely and comfortably over teeth that have been crowned (capped).

Improve the Appearance of Your Smile in Albuquerque

Dr. Brian K. Dennis is the only dentist in Albuquerque who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He has helped thousands of patients to improve the appearance and function of their teeth and smiles, using clear alignment treatments. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Dennis, call 505-292-1051 or send us a message.

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Brian K, Dennis, DDS
8400 Osuna Rd. NE, Suite 6A
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Tel: 505-292-1051 | Fax:
Monday | 10am - 5pm
Tuesday | 7am - 2pm
Wednesday | 10am - 5pm
Thursday | 7am - 2pm
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8400 Osuna Rd. NE, Suite 6A Albuquerque, NM 87111
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