You’ve decided you want straight teeth and prefer a discreet treatment method that works fast. Invisalign® clear aligners are often touted for delivering fast, discreet results but it’s important to check your expectations at your dentist’s office. How long to wear Invisalign will depend on the complexity of your case and how diligent you are about wearing your aligners. And guess what? Invisalign may not be the best and fastest option for you.
How long is Invisalign treatment, really?
If you’re a current patient of Fort Worth dentist Dr. Laura Loftin, you know she’s a straight shooter. So, how many months do you have to wear Invisalign according to Dr. Loftin? While some dentists tell patients they can expect to complete Invisalign treatment in 12 months, that typically isn’t the case for most patients.
“How many years do you have to wear Invisalign?” is typically a more accurate question to ask. In her experience, Dr. Loftin finds that Invisalign wear time for most patients ends up being 12 months to two years, with the majority of patients going closer to a full two years to achieve optimum results. This is especially true for adults because their bones (specifically the jaw structure) are no longer developing or as flexible as a teenager’s.
You may also wonder, how long do you have to wear Invisalign if you only need minor straightening? Patients with minor alignment issues often achieve the results they desire by wearing Invisalign aligners for less than two years. Your dentist can explain what to expect based on your specific needs and the severity of your case.
Dr. Loftin also offers Reveal® clear aligners from Henry Schein Orthodontics,TM which she finds typically achieve desired results more quickly—9 to 18 months compared to 12 to 24 months for Invisalign Fort Worth. She is also a licensed Six Month Smiles® dentist and is happy to offer that option to patients who are good candidates for the treatment. We’ll take a deeper dive into the three options later in this blog.
How many hours to wear Invisalign daily for best results? 22 to 23 hours
“How many hours to wear Invisalign?” is one of the most important questions to ask, and the answer is critical to expediting Invisalign treatment. In order for your teeth to move into a straighter and more aligned position, they need the constant pressure clear aligners like Invisalign and Reveal provide.
Dr. Loftin recommends only removing the aligners to eat and while brushing and flossing teeth. She strongly encourages patients to wear their aligners a minimum of 22 hours per day—23 hours or more if possible—to keep teeth moving per the treatment plan. While you may be tempted to wear your aligners less than 22 hours per day, think twice.
When you leave your aligners out for extended periods of time, any progress your teeth have made will begin to regress. This regression will extend the duration of how long Invisalign treatment will take. If you really want to get straight teeth fast (or faster), follow your dentist’s advice for how long do you have to wear Invisalign.
Is Invisalign the best option for you? What other options should you consider?
Dr. Loftin is a strong proponent of educating patients on all the options available to them, so the patient can decide which teeth straightening option they prefer. If your dentist only offers Invisalign, you may want to seek a second opinion.
Technology in the world of teeth straightening has come a long way in recent years. While Invisalign is a great option for some people, many of Dr. Loftin’s patients opt for Reveal clear aligners because they typically work faster and straighten teeth without needing small buttons adhered near the gums (SmartForce® attachments) that Invisalign Fort Worth requires.
Patients with crooked, spaced or misaligned teeth may also be candidates for the Six Month Smiles treatment. Instead of clear aligners, this treatment involves clear braces and tooth-colored wires, which move the teeth in the shape of the wire for a perfectly curved smile. Depending on the severity of correction needed, the Six Month Smiles treatment typically takes between 3 and 9 months.
Keep in mind, not all patients are candidates for clear aligners or the Six Month Smiles treatment. If Dr. Loftin believes an alternative treatment would suit you better she will let you know. Should that mean traditional braces or surgery, she may refer you to an orthodontist or oral surgeon depending on the severity and type of correction needed. Invisible braces work great for the cosmetic purposes of teeth straightening but they can’t change the jaw relationship or positioning.
Contact us to learn more about teeth straightening options today
If you live near our Fort Worth dental office and have questions like, how long do you wear Invisalign or how long for Invisalign to straighten teeth compared to other options, give us a call. Dr. Laura Loftin can help you weigh your options, so you can decide which approach is the right one for you.
To schedule an appointment at Dr. Laura Loftin’s practice of family and cosmetic dentistry in Fort Worth TX, please call our office at (817) 429-4444.