How Long Does Invisalign Take?

If you’ve been thinking about starting your journey toward a healthier, straighter smile, there is no time like the present. At Smith Orthodontics, we offer a wide range of different orthodontic options to correct your misaligned teeth and bite, including the popular Invisalign aligners. If you’re considering Invisalign, you might be wondering how long the process takes. Smith Orthodontics has put together information to help you learn more about how long Invisalign takes. 

What is Invisalign?

As mentioned above, Invisalign aligners are a popular option among patients, especially teens and adults. The trays are clear plastic and removable, which makes them a more attractive option than traditional metal braces—and they are just as effective at correcting your teeth and bite! They are virtually invisible and, since you can remove them, you can take them out while eating or if you have a big event to attend. While you do still have to wear them at least 22 hours a day to keep your treatment on schedule, having the flexibility to remove them makes them an appealing option. 

There are multiple kinds of Invisalign for different types of patients: Full, Teen, Lite, and First. Invisalign Full is used to treat the most advanced orthodontic issues and is used mostly by adults. Invisalign Teen is used by teens who don’t have all their adult molars in yet and includes special features for this patient age. Invisalign Lite is used for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, and Invisalign First is used for children between the ages of six and ten who require early orthodontic treatment

How long Invisalign takes

How long Invisalign takes depends on a number of different factors. First, it will be a longer or shorter process depending on which type of Invisalign you have. Full Invisalign takes about 12-18 months to complete treatment, while Lite takes about six to eight months. Teen also takes about 12-18 months, while Invisalign First is usually about three to six months. Beyond these basic guidelines, there are other things that can change your length of treatment:

  • Severity of orthodontic issues: If you have a more serious orthodontic issue, like an overbite or underbite, the Invisalign process can take longer to correct it. For mild issues, like a couple of misaligned teeth, the process can be a lot faster.
  • Your compliance with treatment: If you continually miss your orthodontic appointments, this will delay your treatment. With each new step of the Invisalign process, you need to get new trays and have them fitted to your mouth. If you miss your appointments, your orthodontist can’t move forward in the treatment process and you’ll need to wear your current trays longer. You also need to wear your trays for around 22 hours each day. If you don’t do this, your treatment will be slower, since you aren’t wearing the trays long enough every day for them to be 100% effective.. 
  • Your age: Treatment for a younger child or teen is typically quicker than treatment for an adult with the same orthodontic issues, because the gums around children’s teeth are more flexible. This allows for issues to be corrected a lot quicker. 

If you are ready to start your journey to a healthier smile, contact Smith Orthodontics today for a free consultation!