How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Your Teeth?

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Straighten Your Teeth?

Team Invisalign

Invisalign® is a highly advanced orthodontic system that corrects minor to moderate alignment issues. The time it takes to change your smile with Invisalign may vary by several months, depending on the severity of your problems. In most cases, treatment typically takes between 6 and 18 months.

How Invisalign Works

The Invisalign system uses a graduated series of clear, medical-grade plastic aligners to move your teeth into ideal positions. As the aligners change over time, they gently reshape your smile.

The Invisalign Treatment Process

Step 1: Consultation

Before treatment, the first step is meeting with your dentist or orthodontist and discussing your needs and expectations. Your dentist will take digital photographs of your mouth using the an intraoral scanner. The scanner is a comfortable handheld wand that moves around your mouth, eliminating the need for messy impressions.

Step 2: Design

Next, your dentist or orthodontist will use proprietary software to plan tooth movements and design the aligners. The dentist accounts for gaps, rotation, crowding, and other malocclusions and electronically submits your design to the Invisalign lab.

Step 3: Fitting

When the aligners return from the lab, you will have a fitting where your dentist and orthodontist ensures your comfort and instructs you on the process.

Step 4: Treatment

You will wear each aligner for roughly one to two weeks before changing to the next in the series. The aligners will slowly shift your teeth and eliminate your orthodontic issues. You will visit the dentist or orthodontist once every four to six weeks to check your progress. After the series is complete, you will have a gorgeous smile.

Step 5: Retainer

If you want to keep your results, wear your retainer as your dentist or orthodontist prescribes. If you skip wearing your aligner, your teeth will return to their original locations. You will lose your investment and raise your risk of oral health problems.

Benefits of Invisalign


The aligners are smooth, medical-grade plastic. There are no sharp edges or cutting surfaces to damage tender oral tissues. They fit flush against your teeth. You will quickly become accustomed to wearing them.


Invisalign trays are nearly invisible. Unless a friend or acquaintance knows you are wearing your trays, they may not notice. What they will see is the gradual improvement in your smile.

Quick Treatment Time

In many cases, Invisalign is faster than braces. This is especially true when dealing with minor issues like gapped or crooked teeth. More involved issues may need more time but rarely exceed 18 months.


Invisalign typically corrects minor alignment issues, but the system can also treat bite problems like overbite and underbite using attachment points and elastic bands.

Improved Oral Hygiene

Since Invisalign trays come out for cleaning, you can take much better care of your teeth with minimal effort. Brushing and flossing come naturally with Invisalign. You will have a lowered chance of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Better Oral Health Outcomes

Researchers find that Invisalign patients have better gum health than braces patients. They are less likely to encounter gum disease and tooth decay later in life.

No Food Restrictions

One of the top advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners come out for eating and drinking. If you practice excellent oral hygiene and keep your aligners clean, you can eat anything you like. Chips, popcorn, candy, corn on the cob, and steak pose no issues.

Good Candidates for Invisalign

  • Teen or adult
  • No missing teeth
  • All permanent teeth erupted
  • Excellent oral hygiene
  • Discipline to wear aligners 20 to 22 hours each day and remove them only for eating, drinking, and cleaning

Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign

Is Invisalign painful?

With Invisalign, you may feel minor discomfort when you first receive your aligners and change to the next one in the series. Over-the-counter medication should be sufficient for short-lived pain. Invisalign is less disruptive and more comfortable than braces adjustments.

Will Invisalign ruin your teeth?

If you keep your teeth, gums, and aligners clean, you will enjoy excellent oral health. If you neglect oral care during Invisalign treatment, you may be subject to higher rates of tooth decay and gum disease.

Call Wilson Park Dental

If you have crooked or gapped teeth, you may be interested in receiving treatment with Invisalign. Please call our Rapid City, SD, office at 605-343-9352 to speak with our expert team. They will gladly schedule an appointment with Dr. Haave to assess whether you are a good candidate.