You’re tired of looking at yourself in the mirror and feeling self-conscious about your smile. But you’re not exactly excited about having metal in your mouth — AKA traditional braces — either.

So, what do you do? You consider joining the more than five million people who have already taken advantage of an alternative to traditional braces: Invisalign braces.

However, if you’re considering Invisalign braces because of their invisibility, you may be missing out on their other benefits. How long does Invisalign take? And is it more expensive than metal braces?

Here’s a rundown on what you can expect both time wise and cost wise when you choose Invisalign treatment this year.

Let’s get started!

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that involves wearing removable, clear aligners that straighten your pearly whites gradually. The treatment involves no wires and brackets, unlike traditional braces.

What many patients love about these aligners are that they fit snugly on the teeth, which makes them hard to notice. They are also approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so they don’t contain any gluten, latex, BPS or BPA.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

Treatment with Invisalign usually takes about one year for the majority of adults. However, the actual time varies among patients.

Here’s why.

People’s mouths are not built in the same way. For instance, while another person’s teeth may move with ease, your teeth may be a bit more stubborn. And there’s no way of telling how quickly your teeth will move until you start the treatment process.

Note that completing this type of treatment often takes longer in teenagers. However, this is likely because teens don’t always wear their aligners as often as they should — not because their mouths are structured any differently from an adult’s mouth.

The reality is that even if a person’s teeth needs only minor corrections, their treatment process can be longer if they don’t wear their aligners for the quantity of time recommended (typically 22 hours a day).

If patients use Invisalign properly, they’ll usually begin to see a major difference in their smiles in a couple of months to three months.

Closing Gaps and Fixing Crowded Teeth

Let’s say you’re wearing Invisalign aligners because you have a small gap you’re trying to close. Your gap will likely be fixed in about eight weeks.

However, gaps have a tendency to form again if you fail to use the appropriate retention methods. For this reason, you should plan to use a retainer to keep your gap closed following treatment.

If you decide to use Invisalign due to a mild crowding issue, your dental problem should be fixed within half a year. If your case is more severe, however, your fix will end up taking longer. However, your dentist may simply recommend using headgear or removing teeth to address your problem.

Invisalign vs. Braces

Invisalign offers a number of advantages over traditional braces. For one, traditional braces usually take about 24 months on average to accomplish the desired effect. That’s double the time you’ll likely be in Invisalign aligners.

On top of this, using Invisalign aligners is far more convenient than wearing metal braces. That’s because regular braces are attached to the teeth, while Invisalign aligners are removable. That means you can remove your Invisalign trays to speak, brush or eat.

Yet another advantage of Invisalign is that the trays are less likely to break than metal braces’ wires. Likewise, brackets are more likely to fall off metal braces than Invisalign trays are to break.

This is great news for the Invisalign patient. After all, it means you don’t have to worry about your treatment being delayed due to a breaking aligner.

However, visits to your orthodontist are exactly the same for traditional braces and Invisalign aligners. For instance, just as an orthodontist has to tighten metal braces every couple of weeks, they have to replace your trays every couple of weeks.

Invisalign Cost

With all of Invisalign’s conveniences, you may be thinking that this orthodontic treatment option is much more expensive than traditional braces. The good news is that the two treatment options carry similar price tags.

Your dentist will determine how much your Invisalign treatment will cost based on the complexity of your case and the number of aligners needed.

Fortunately, a number of options are available for making this type of treatment affordable for patients. For instance, your dental insurance plan may cover a percentage of the treatment or cover a specific dollar amount.

You could also go on a payment plan to cover the cost of your Invisalign treatment. In this way, you can make manageable payments over the course of several months rather than covering the full cost of the treatment upfront.

In addition, some dentists offer what’s called CareCredit. This third-party financing program is designed to help patients to get the procedures or treatment they need and want.

Finally, you can also take advantage of your health savings account or flexible savings account to cover your treatment with tax-free money.

With the combination of the right dentist and the right payment plan, you can be well on your way to quickly achieving a beautiful smile with Invisalign.

How We Can Help

We offer top-of-the-line orthodontic care with the goal of helping our patients to feel good about their smiles.

In addition to answering the question “How long does Invisalign take,” we offer other helpful information about Invisalign treatment as well as other systems of braces.

We take pride in using contemporary technologies and constantly working to exceed our patients’ expectations.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about how our orthodontic treatment options can help you to achieve the straight, attractive smile you’ve always wanted.