Invisalign is the trademark name for Invisalign aligners, which are an inconspicuous way to straighten teeth without the use of metal braces. Align Technology, the manufacturer of Invisalign aligners, was formed in 1997 by Zia Christi and Kelsey Wirth after developing the product in their garage.
Invisalign was created to be an alternative to the traditional braces technology, and they are a series of clear aligners that correct minor to moderate orthodontic issues. Patients change aligners about every two weeks to gradually bring their teeth into the correct position. Progress is monitored every 4-6 weeks by your dentist.
Initially, some dentists and orthodontists were sceptical that the Invisalign aligners would produce the same results as metal braces. However, over time, the concept of the clear Invisalign aligner that you could remove up to 4 hours gained popularity. Now Invisalign aligners are not just an alternative, but they are a major competitor for braces in the dental community due to their convenience, effectiveness, and comfort. The flexible BPA-free plastic is customised for your unique smile. There are no brackets or wires, so no parts can cause abrasions to the sensitive soft tissues in your mouth.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
The short answer to the question; How long does Invisalign take? is usually “it depends.” Typically the average straightening process takes 12-18 months to work, but in minor cases, it can be as short as 6 months. With complex cases like crowded teeth, the treatment could take up to 24 months. Every case is different, but there are some reasons why for some people it takes longer than others.
How Far Your Teeth Have to Move Before They Align
Many times patients have gaps between one or more teeth because of natural growth, or they may be the result of a lost tooth due to decay or an accident. Invisalign aligners can be used to close these gaps, but their success will depend on the size of the gap and how far the tooth has to move. The maximum gap Invisalign corrects is 6 mm, and this can take approximately 24 months. However, gaps larger than 6 mm may require a different type of treatment and may take longer.
In a mild case of tooth crowding, teeth can be corrected within 12 months. However, in severe cases, your dentist may recommend another treatment.
Age is not a determining factor in how long it takes the Invisalign aligner to straighten teeth. In fact, Invisalign was initially developed for adult use. Using the technique for teenagers developed later. Teeth straighten at different rates for different people. Any given person may have teeth that are difficult to align while for others, the teeth move easier into place. This aspect can be hereditary.
Hours They Have to be Worn
The attractive aspect of Invisalign aligners is that they do not have to be worn 24 hours a day. The aligner can be removed to eat every meal, for oral hygiene maintenance, and they can also be removed for social events like posing for a picture, a special meeting, or when someone might not be feeling well.
The guidelines for the approval of removal is up to 4 hours a day, with some dentists suggesting no more than 2 hours a day. Employing the Invisalign technique requires the patient to be disciplined enough to adhere to the rigorous schedule, and if this is a concern, it might be better to use metal or ceramic braces that cannot be removed.
Why Choose Invisalign?
Clear aligners are very appealing because they are almost invisible when they are worn. A person can be standing very close to you and be unaware that you are wearing the mouthpiece. With traditional braces, the patient has to be careful of some foods like hard or crunchy and sticky foods that could break or bend the braces. The Invisalign aligners have no diet restrictions because you can remove them when you eat.
What doesn’t change with Invisalign is the need to maintain a strict dental cleaning regimen to make sure the teeth and gums stay strong and healthy. Cleaning after every meal and snack is advisable to prevent decay and the risk of the treatment not working because of food particles left in and around the teeth. Do not eat or drink while wearing your aligners, except for water and avoid rinsing with mouthwash because the clear plastic can become tinted.
Since its development, the Invisalign product for straightening the teeth has been a success for patients who can discipline themselves to follow the treatment plan prescribed by their dentist.
Beyond Infinity Dental has years of experience working with Invisalign and other methods of straightening teeth such as Fastbraces, Lingual braces, and traditional metal braces. Contact us today on (02) 8806 3799 for a complimentary consultation.