Invisalign treatment has many benefits that make it an attractive alternative to traditional braces. Its discreet appearance is the big one, but the lack of dietary restrictions and removable aligners are also appreciated by patients. (Who doesn’t love orthodontics that you can remove for an important meeting or social event?)
A lesser known benefit, however, is that Invisalign is usually faster than bracket-and-wire braces. Treatment timelines vary based on individual alignment issues, but the typical treatment plan is significantly shorter than the timeline required for braces. Patients, on average, usually complete their Invisalign treatment plan in about 12-18 months.
Why is Invisalign Faster?
To understand why Invisalign works faster than braces, you have to understand how both systems work. With metal braces, brackets are permanently affixed to the teeth, and a wire is threaded through the brackets. This wire provides the force that applies the gentle, constant pressure needed to change the teeth’s positions. Each month, the patient visits the orthodontist to have the wires tightened and move on to the next step of the treatment plan.
With Invisalign, however, the teeth tend to shift more quickly because you receive a new set of aligners every two weeks. As long as you wear your aligners for the required amount of time each day (20-22 hours), you will be ready for the next incremental step in just 14 days. Invisalign is also more efficient at encouraging teeth to move because it fits over all the teeth and applies pressure from many angles—not just via the metal wire. Some patients report that Invisalign is less painful than their past experiences with braces because the pressure is applied more evenly, (rather than just once a month after tightening). Patients still report some sensitivity when they switch to their next set of aligners, but it does not seem to be as severe as the soreness experienced with traditional braces.
In addition to Invisalign’s inherently faster method, Dr. Leiker uses the Roth Technique when developing your treatment plan. This means your treatment will be designed not just to make your smile look better, but also to improve how your teeth fit together and function in unison with your jaw. This approach ensures the most efficient alignment correction in the shortest period of time.
Fewer Office Visits
Most Invisalign patients appreciate the fact that their orthodontic treatment timeline is shorter, but they also appreciate having fewer office visits. As mentioned, braces require a monthly office visit to check progress and tighten wires. With Invisalign, you’ll only need to come in to see Dr. Leiker about once every six weeks.
This visit helps us make sure the teeth are shifting as predicted by the treatment plan, and also gives us the chance to make sure the teeth are not developing any new cavities or enamel stains. When you wear Invisalign, your teeth and gum line are more vulnerable to bacterial damage and staining because they don’t come into contact with saliva as often as usual. Since saliva is our best natural defense against stains and bacteria, poor brushing and flossing technique during treatment can lead to rapid decay.
Beautiful Smiles, for Teens and Adults
Being able to correct your smile in about a year is a great plus for both teens and adults. Many teens choose to start Invisalign in their junior year of high school, so they can show off their best smile for their senior photo shoot or have greater self-confidence when they go off to college. If you want to look your best for your ten-year high school reunion or wedding next year, there’s still time, with Invisalign!
To summarize the advantages:
- Invisalign takes 12-18 months; metal braces require 24 months.
- Invisalign requires a check-in every 6 weeks; metal braces require a monthly appointment.
- Invisalign is removable for occasional special events; metal braces are fixed.
For Even Faster Smiles
Patients who are eager to complete their orthodontic treatment even faster may be interested in learning about AcceleDent. The AcceleDent device provides subtle vibrations in the mouth that speed up healing times and encourage the bones and teeth to respond faster to treatment. When this small hand-held device is used every day, it can shorten your treatment timeline by 30-50 percent. Ask Dr. Leiker about AcceleDent if you would like to learn more about this service.
To learn more about Invisalign, call Leiker Orthodontics at 281-298-9434 or use our online form to make an appointment with Dr. Brad Leiker.