How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Your Smile

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Your Smile


Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment designed to straighten the teeth and align the bite. As an alternative to braces, Invisalign consists of clear plastic trays you wear over your teeth to gently shift them into proper alignment. Many patients choose this treatment option because it is less noticeable than metal braces and even clear brackets, and because the gradual process of shifting the teeth is more comfortable. 

How long does this gradual teeth straightening process take to give you a new smile? Here’s what you can expect when it comes to the length of Invisalign treatment. 

Average Length of Invisalign Treatment

On average, Invisalign treatment takes between 6 and 18 months of active treatment. There is always a retention period following active treatment that can take another few months to a year, and never officially ends. This is because it is a good idea to wear your retainers at night for the rest of your life to maintain your results. 

Factors That Affect Treatment Length

The exact length of your treatment time varies based on the following factors: 

  • The extent of your orthodontic treatment needs. When your teeth are evaluated for Invisalign, the treatment plan is based on the movements that are needed to shift your teeth into proper alignment. This determines how many aligners you need for your treatment. You wear each aligner for about 2 weeks, then switch to the next aligner in order until you have moved through the entire set. Once your teeth are in the desired position, your treatment is complete. 
  • How often you wear your aligners. Your job is to wear your aligners as much as possible, at least 22 hours a day. You can take them out to eat and to brush and floss your teeth, but otherwise you should be wearing them. The more you wear them, the faster your treatment will go. 
  • How well you take care of your aligners. It is important to take good care of your aligners. Always store them in the provided case to keep them safe and avoid losing them. When an aligner is lost and needs to be replaced, it causes a temporary setback that could extend the overall length of your treatment. 

How Does Invisalign Treatment Length Compare With Braces?

On average, braces take 12-24 months, which means Invisalign treatment typically takes less time. This is primarily due to the fact that there are some complex orthodontic issues that require braces to correct. If your treatment needs are particularly complicated, you may not be a candidate for Invisalign in the first place. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Invisalign? 

Invisalign can treat most common orthodontic issues, including crowding, overbite, crossbite, crooked teeth, and gaps. However, there are some orthodontic problems that can only be treated with braces. A simple evaluation of your teeth can determine whether or not you are a good candidate for Invisalign.

Another factor to consider is responsibility. If you or your child are prone to losing things and have difficulty keeping up with your belongings, Invisalign may not be the best orthodontic treatment option. Braces are semi-permanently attached to the teeth and can’t be lost. 

Emerson Dental is a Certified Invisalign Provider 

Due to the advanced technology of Invisalign software, dental practices can offer this treatment without referring you to an orthodontist. Emerson Dental provides Invisalign for children, teens, and adults who are eligible and want to straighten their teeth with a more subtle look. The removable aligners are comfortable and easily removable for eating, brushing, and flossing. 

Contact us today at one of our 2 convenient locations to learn more and schedule an evaluation.