Invisalign® Treatment Timeline
By Stephen Dowell, DDS on February 21, 2019
Spacing and alignment issues can compromise the bite, increase the risk of oral health complications, and detract from the beauty of the smile. Most people who have malocclusion problems want to correct them, but they are often hesitant to wear the metal brackets and wires that are associated with traditional orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign® gradually and subtly straightens the teeth and corrects the bite by progressing patients through a system of clear, plastic aligners. Invisalign® offers patients the benefit of a more comfortable and convenient teeth straightening treatment in roughly the same timeline of traditional braces.
Here, patients can learn more about the typical Invisalign® treatment timeline at our Minerva, OH practice, Dowell Dental Group.
Consultation and Treatment Plan
The first stage of Invisalign® treatment is customizing a plan and timeline that will meet each patient’s specific goals. But before that, we must determine if a patient is an ideal candidate for Invisalign®.
We will examine the teeth and structure of the bite to diagnose what type of malocclusion problems are present, and how severe those issues are. Invisalign® can address many of the same problems as braces, so most patients learn that they are Invisalign® candidates.
After candidacy has been determined, we will map out the expected Invisalign® treatment timeline. Each treatment is customized to the specific needs of the patient. We use 3D images and scans to design the patient’s aligners and create a preview of what the smile will look like after treatment.
Treatment plans are then sent to an Invisalign® laboratory where the patient’s aligners will be fabricated.
Starting Invisalign® Treatment
Within a few weeks of creating a treatment plan, the patient’s first several sets of aligners arrive at our practice. We will schedule an appointment at this time so that we can check the fit of the first aligners, and go over the specifications of treatment.
It is important that each patient leaves our office understanding when and how to wear and progress through their aligners. As soon as this appointment is complete, patients can begin treatment by starting to wear their first set of aligners.
Progressing Through Aligners
Once Invisalign® treatment starts, patients will progress through their aligners pretty quickly. Aligners need to be worn as directed, for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day (being removed only for eating and brushing). Depending on the treatment plan, the patient may advance to a new set of aligners around every one to two weeks. Each new set of aligners will feel slightly tight and uncomfortable initially, but patients should adjust quickly.
Throughout treatment, patients will come in for routine checkups. At these checkups, we examine the teeth to monitor how treatment is progressing. These appointments, which are scheduled roughly once every six weeks, allow us to make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
Completion of Treatment
When a patient has progressed through all of the aligners, the teeth and jaw should be in proper position, completing treatment. The average Invisalign® treatment lasts between 12 and 18 months, about the same as traditional orthodontics.
Of course, the exact Invisalign® treatment timeline will depend on how extensive misalignment issues are, and how closely the patient follows the treatment plan.
If you’d like to straighten your teeth without the use of metal brackets and wires, you should learn more about Invisalign® treatment. Contact us at your earliest convenience to set up a personal consultation with one of our experienced dentists.
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