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How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

April 30, 2024
How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

Invisalign® is a sophisticated orthodontic system that provides discreet, comfortable treatment for tooth alignment issues. On average, treatment takes between 12 and 18 months to complete, but it may be longer or shorter depending on how well the patient follows the protocols and their body’s ability to allow the teeth to move as prescribed.

How Invisalign Works

Invisalign uses clear, medical-grade plastic to create a series of graduated aligners. Each aligner moves individual teeth a bit at a time, gradually reshaping the patient's smile.

Step 1: Consultation

You will meet with your dentist for a consultation and discuss your needs and desired outcome. The dentist will take photos and create a 3-D model of your teeth with the iTero intraoral scanner and use this model to show you what they can do to improve your smile's alignment.

Step 2: Creating the Design

Your dentist will work in concert with the experts at Invisalign to design your Invisalign treatment using your 3-D images. They will map the movement of each tooth over time until they reach their optimum position. This is called a ClinCheck and is available to view at your delivery appointment.

Step 3: Making the Aligners

Invisalign's lab creates aligners from smooth, comfortable medical-grade plastic and returns them to your dentist.

Step 4: Fitting and Instruction

Your dentist will ensure that the trays fit and instruct you on how to get optimal results. The delivery appointment will consist of placing any tooth-colored attachments deemed necessary and to perform any minor adjustments needed for the teeth to move properly during treatment.

You must wear the trays at least 20-22 hours daily, removing them only to eat, drink, and practice oral hygiene. You will change aligners every one to two weeks and return to the dentist for checkups approximately every six weeks.

Step 5: Straightening Your Teeth

Over the next 12 to 18 months, your smile will become even, straight, and attractive. One of the best aspects of Invisalign is that no one will notice you're straightening your teeth until they see the results.

Step 6: Retainers

After you complete the aligner series, you will need to wear an aligner for the prescribed length of time to allow your teeth to settle into new positions. Retainers should be worn all day until at least 6 weeks following the end of treatment. Then the patient can typically move to wearing them at night only. 

Advantages of Invisalign

More Convenient Impressions

Digital impressions are much less messy and inconvenient than standard impressions. They are very friendly for patients with a strong gag reflex and they also don’t have the typically unpleasant flavor of typical orthodontic impressions. The dentist simply moves the iTero scanner wand around your mouth, taking detailed images of all surfaces. Scanning typically takes 4-8 minutes, which is far faster than traditional putty impressions. 


You can keep your treatment private with Invisalign and avoid the unwanted comments that braces sometimes attract.


With no rigid brackets or wires, Invisalign is much more comfortable than braces. The smooth surface is much easier on cheeks, gums and the tongue than metal brackets and wires. 


Invisalign has been shown to progress at twice the speed of traditional metal braces. Braces usually take between 18 months and three years, while Invisalign only takes 12 to 18 months.

Conditions Invisalign Can Treat

  • Gapped teeth
  • Rotated teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign

Are there any patients who can't receive treatment with Invisalign?

Most teen and adult patients can take advantage of Invisalign, but a few patients may need to choose another orthodontic solution:

  • Children missing some permanent teeth
  • Patients whose jaws have not finished growing
  • Patients with skeletal issues that need to be surgically addressed
  • Patients with poor oral hygiene, untreated tooth decay, or gum disease

Can Invisalign fix an overbite?

Invisalign can fix minor to moderate bite issues. The dentist may apply “buttons” or attachment points made of dental bonding material and use them to hold elastic bands. The bands will help the jaws align properly.

Call Rush Family Dental

If you're intrigued by Invisalign, please contact us at one of our Phoenix-area offices. We would be glad to set up a free consultation and evaluate you as a candidate for Invisalign.

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Rush Family Dental-Ahwatukee
4350 E. Ray Road, Building 3, Suite 112
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Rush Family Dental-Chandler
4909 S. Alma School Rd
Chandler, AZ 85248

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

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Rush Family Dental-Ahwatukee

4350 E. Ray Road, Building 3, Suite 112
Phoenix, AZ 85044

Rush Family Dental-Chandler

4909 S. Alma School Rd
Chandler, AZ 85248