The Invisalign Treatment Timeline
Before committing to Invisalign®, it’s important to understand what the treatment process will involve. Depending on the degree of your misalignment and how closely you follow the prescribed treatment, Invisalign treatment can take anywhere from 18 months to two years. Dr. Jerry Hancock in Nashville, TN, explains what you can generally expect during the Invisalign treatment timeline.
Before you can start treatment, you must first attend a consultation with Dr. Hancock to make sure that Invisalign is appropriate for you. Invisalign is better suited to minor or moderate cases of bite misalignment. More complex cases may require traditional braces. Dr. Hancock will evaluate your bite and ask about your goals for treatment to determine whether it is a good fit.
If it is, he can take impressions of your teeth during the same appointment. Taken digitally rather than with putty, the impressions are sent to specialists at an Invisalign lab who will design the entire series of aligners. They will then fabricate the first several in the series and send them back to our office. This process usually takes about a month.
Wearing Your Aligners
Once you have tried on your aligners at the office to ensure that they fit, you will be sent home with the first two to three aligners. These clear plastic trays are removable, but must be worn at least 22 hours every day. You must remember to put them back in after meals or cleaning your teeth, or it could potentially extend your total treatment time.
Each aligner is worn for one to two weeks before switching to the next in the series. With each aligner, your teeth move closer to their proper positions.
In order to evaluate your progress, you will attend an appointment every four to six weeks with Dr. Hancock. You will typically receive the next three aligners in the series at this point. However, if your teeth have not shifted far enough, you may need to wear the current aligner for longer.
Once you have completed your treatment, you will need to wear a retainer to maintain your results. Our teeth do not typically settle permanently into their new positions immediately after orthodontic treatment. Without a retainer, they can shift back to how they originally were. A retainer holds the teeth in place until your smile fully adjusts.
Most Invisalign patients need to wear a retainer at all times for a period ranging from several weeks to several months. Once Dr. Hancock is satisfied with your progress, you can begin only wearing them at night. In most cases, patients can use their final set of aligners as a retainer.
Set Up a Consultation
The best way to gain an accurate estimate of the timeline your Invisalign treatment will involve is to speak to a reputable provider. Reach out to our office online or by calling (615) 383-0132 to set up an appointment with Dr. Hancock.
“The staff is super friendly and efficient, and I always walk out of their office with a smile…a much brighter one!” —Kate