How Long Does Invisalign Take?

dental patient wearing invisalign 3

According to the experts, nearly everyone in the world has some level of malocclusion, or misalignment, of the teeth. Many people can live with their malocclusion without any issues. However, in some cases, malocclusion can cause a variety of issues that can impact oral and overall health.

For many years, the only way to treat malocclusion was with traditional metal braces, which involve brackets and wires. While effective, many patients found this treatment to be less than ideal and would often opt out of it if possible. However, in the late 1990s, an orthodontic patient started thinking that there had to be a better way and Invisalign was introduced to the market.

Invisalign is a system of clear plastic aligners, similar to retainers, that are designed to gradually shift teeth into their appropriate positions within the jaw. This treatment is ideal for treating mild to moderate malocclusions. It can also be used to treat severe malocclusions with the help of attachments on the teeth to hold them in place. The aligners are custom-made to fit snugly against the teeth, putting firm pressure on them, which causes them to shift.

This is just one of the treatments that Dr. Avi Matha and the team at Normandale Dental offer to help you attain your dream smile.

Benefits of Invisalign

There are several benefits of Invisalign over traditional braces, including:


Many people believe that Invisalign is much more expensive than traditional metal braces, but the truth is that the cost is about the same. Invisalign clear aligners start at around $1,200 and go up to around $8,000, depending on your personal treatment plan. On the other hand, traditional braces fall somewhere in the middle, from about $3,000 to $6,000.


Traditional metal braces involve brackets and wires, which put a lot of pressure on the affected teeth. This can be quite uncomfortable, especially when they are first put on or when you have them adjusted. However, Invisalign clear aligners put even pressure on all of the teeth, which causes them all to shift.

In addition, the brackets of traditional braces often cause cuts on the tongue, cheeks, and lips. This can be somewhat prevented with orthodontic wax placed on the brackets, but it can be a hassle to have to keep putting wax on them. Invisalign clear aligners are made of a smooth plastic, so they will not rub against or cut the tongue, cheeks, or lips.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Traditional metal braces are obvious. People notice them even when they’re not standing close to you. Invisalign clear aligners, on the other hand, are transparent, so most people won’t even notice them- even when they’re standing close by, having a conversation with you.

No Food Restrictions

There are certain foods, such as popcorn, hard fruits/veggies, and others that can damage traditional braces. Therefore, you have to make a lot of modifications to your diet with this treatment method. Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removed when eating/drinking, so you don’t have to make any changes to your diet. You can continue to eat what you want- as long as you clean your teeth before putting your aligners back in.

Easy Oral Hygiene

Traditional metal braces can be challenging to clean around. You have to get a special interdental toothbrush to get around the brackets to prevent tooth decay. You may also need a water flosser to get between your teeth. However, Invisalign clear aligners can be removed, which means you simply brush and floss your teeth as usual. You don’t need any special equipment or expend any extra effort.

Easy to Maintain

With traditional metal braces, you must visit the clinic every few weeks to have them adjusted as your teeth shift. Treatment with Invisalign is somewhat independent, you change the aligners every 1 to 3 weeks based on your personal treatment plan. You will need to come in a few times throughout treatment so that Dr. Matha can check your progress and ensure that things are going as expected.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

Typically, Invisalign takes 12 to 18 months. Patients with very mild malocclusions often see full results within 6 months. However, patients with severe malocclusions may need up to 24 months. Nearly all patients will start seeing results within the first two weeks of treatment.

There are several things that can impact the treatment time, including:

Type and Severity of Malocclusion

There are three different classes of malocclusion: Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I is the simplest and most common and Class III is not as common and more complex. The more complex the malocclusion, the longer it will take to fix it.

It’s also important to note that mild malocclusions are much easier to fix and will take less time than more severe malocclusions that involve significant gaps or crooked teeth.

Patient Compliance

Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removed while eating/drinking and while taking care of oral hygiene. However, in order to be effective, the aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. If you leave the aligners sitting in the case, you can’t expect them to do anything for your teeth.

Number of Aligners

Each set of aligners must be worn for 1 to 3 weeks based on your personal treatment plan. The more aligners you have, the longer it will take to treat your malocclusion. There are several different levels of treatment from only 5 aligners to unlimited aligners.

Invisalign Alternatives

The team at Normandale Dental does offer a couple of alternatives to Invisalign:

Traditional Braces

Before Invisalign was introduced to the market, traditional braces were the only option for treating malocclusions. This treatment method involves brackets and wires that place pressure on the affected teeth, pushing them into alignment. Typically, treatment takes at least 12 months and may take up to 36, depending on the type and severity of the malocclusion.

Six Month Smiles

Six Month Smiles is an accelerated orthodontic treatment designed to resolve mild to moderate malocclusion within 6 months. This system is a combination of invisible aligners and clear braces.

Resolve Your Malocclusion with Invisalign Clear Aligners

If you are interested in treating your malocclusion, schedule a consultation with Dr. Matha and the team at Normandale Dental in Bloomington today. We have the experience and expertise to help you determine if you qualify for treatment with Invisalign.

There are many benefits associated with Invisalign. Many patients choose this option because it is aesthetically pleasing. This is especially beneficial for patients who are already self-conscious.

While there are alternatives, those alternatives are not ideal. For example, there are a few disadvantages with traditional braces, and Six Month Smiles is not guaranteed. Let Dr. Matha show you what Invisalign can do for you!

Invisalign FAQs

Nearly everyone has some level of malocclusion. One of the most popular treatment options for this dental issue is Invisalign. Dr. Matha and the team at Normandale Dental are here to address your questions and concerns. Below, we have provided answers to some of our most common questions:

What conditions can Invisalign treat?

Invisalign clear aligners can treat a variety of malocclusions, including crooked teeth, gapped teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and more. For mild to moderate cases, Invisalign alone is often effective. However, for more severe cases, attachments may be required.

How often do I need to wear my aligners?

Invisalign clear aligners must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day, every day with no exceptions.

Can I eat and drink while wearing my aligners?

Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removed while eating and drinking, which is why you only need to wear them for 20 to 22 hours a day. This gives you the time you need to enjoy your meals and to practice proper oral hygiene habits.

How often do I need to visit the dentist while using Invisalign?

When treating your malocclusion with traditional metal braces, you must visit the dentist every few weeks for adjustments as your teeth shift. While you will need to check in with Dr. Matha and the team from time to time to check your progress, it won’t be nearly as often and will be based on your personal treatment plan.

Are there any side effects associated with Invisalign treatment?

Many patients do experience minor discomfort with Invisalign, especially when they are just getting started with treatment or when they switch to a new set. However, it doesn’t last long and can be treated with OTC pain relievers.


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