If you are ready to invest in your smile, Dr. Scott Runnels is here to help. Runnels Orthodontics located in Destin, Inlet Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, is equipped with professionally trained staff, top of the line technology, and the best orthodontic products available. Dr. Runnels offers Invisalign and Invisalign Teen to help you get that smile you have always wanted. Invisalign can help with a multitude of problems including an overbite, underbite, gap teeth, crowded teeth, crossbite, open bite, and crooked teeth. But what most people want to know is, how long does Invisalign take to work for me?
How Long Does Invisalign Take? 4 Things to Know
1. What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign are clear, plastic-teeth aligners that are used as dental braces to adjust the alignment of teeth. Invisalign treatment works by wearing a series of aligners that will move and straighten your teeth over time. Each aligner is custom made to fit your specific needs and designed to reach your desired outcome. Invisalign can only be administered by a certified Invisalign-trained doctor.
Invisalign treatment includes:
- Invisible aligners to straighten your teeth
- Series of custom-made, removable aligners
- Comfortable plastic aligners, no metal
Invisalign vs. Braces
When you are considering your options for orthodontic care, it is important to know the differences between Invisalign and traditional metal braces. Invisalign, as the name suggests, are clear and are hard to notice that you are even wearing them. It offers more precise movement of teeth than traditional braces, and the aligners are removable so you can eat, brush, and floss just like you normally would. Invisalign aligners are more comfortable than metal braces and do not irritate your gums and mouth. Invisalign also saves you time with fewer check-up appointments.
Other benefits of Invisalign:
- Decreased risk of teeth decalcification
- Suitable for crowns and other dental work
- Perfect for people on-the-go
Traditional metal braces are adhered to your teeth and cannot be removed and may require wearing rubber-bands. You must avoid eating certain foods that are sticky, chewy, or too hard because it could cause damage to your braces.
Invisalign for Adults
Your first step is to set up an appointment to see if you are a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. If you are, a 3-D scan will be taken of your teeth and sent to the Invisalign laboratories where they will custom make your aligners. The aligners are designed to move your teeth a millimeter at a time until you have achieved your desired new smile. The Invisalign aligners are removable so you can eat whatever foods you want, brush and floss.
How Does It Work?
- Wear the aligners for two weeks before the next set
- Wear all the time except for eating, brushing, flossing
- Each week your teeth move
- Every eight to ten weeks have a check-up
- Six to 15 months of total treatment time
- 18 – 30 total aligners
How Long Does Invisalign Take to Work for Adults?
Each person has their own unique set of circumstances, so it is hard to give a definitive answer, however, most treatment length times are 12 months.
Invisalign for Teens
Just like Invisalign, Invisalign Teen uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to move and straighten your teeth. After a 3-D scan, your treatment plan is created using 3-D technology and a team of clinicians manufactures your custom-made aligners. These aligners are specifically made for teenagers, allowing permanent teeth room to grow and expand.
Invisalign Teen has Blue Dot Wear Indicator that lets you know when it is time to put on a new set of aligners, which is about every two weeks. Invisalign Teen are removable for important events in a teen’s life like senior pictures, prom, and graduation.
How Long Does Invisalign Take to Work for Teens?
As with adults, each individual case is unique and may require more or less time than average, however, it usually takes between a year and 18 months to complete the Invisalign Teen treatment if the aligners are worn 20 to 22 hours per day.
2. Do I Have to Schedule In-Person Check-Ups?
Today everyone has such a busy lifestyle, it is hard to schedule in-person visits on a consistent basis. Digital Monitoring offers convenience and quality right from your smartphone app. The app is equipped for you to scan your teeth and send the results to your doctor, reducing the amount of in-person appointments required.
How Does Digital Monitoring Work?
To use Digital Monitoring, you scan your smile using the app on your smartphone, usually once a week, and the scan is sent to your doctor. You place the cheek retractor in your mouth to expose your teeth for the scan and hold your device about 10 centimeters away from your mouth. The cheek retractor has special indicators that show the doctor how far your teeth have moved. After your scan has been analyzed, you will be sent recommendations for the upcoming week.
Is Digital Monitoring Right for Me?
Using the Digital Monitoring app can be a great alternative to in-person appointments for people who want to use the Invisalign treatment. Digital monitoring is great for people who:
- Do not have time for traditional visits
- Travel often
- Have difficult schedules
- Have a smartphone
- Understands the app
- Are committed to follow-through
3. Do I Have to Get a Dental Impression?
If you have had a dental impression before you know how uncomfortable and messy of a process it is. You can avoid all that inconvenience with iTero digital impression.
What Is an iTero Scanner?
An iTero Scanner is a hand-held wand that scans your teeth, and it takes less than five minutes. The scan is put on a nearby screen that you and your doctor can review together, so you can understand the treatment plan more clearly.
Why Should I Use iTero?
The biggest complaint about traditional dental impressions is that it is uncomfortable! It takes up to five minutes for the mold to set, which is a long time to have a large tray in your mouth filled with sticky, gooey paste, leaving you gagging and salivating. The iTero Scanner is simpler, cleaner, and more effective so you can relax during the scan.
4. What About After-Care?
When your Invisalign treatment is complete, it is recommended that you wear a retainer. The retainer prevents your teeth from moving back to where they were before Invisalign. Your jawbone softens during your Invisalign treatment to enable your teeth to move, it will take about a year for your jawbone to deposit new bone and stabilize your teeth. After wearing your retainer full-time for about three months, you can wear your retainer at night when you sleep thereafter.
As you grow older, your teeth naturally shift forward. Your teeth also move through everyday activities such as chewing, biting, swallowing, and speaking. It is important to wear your retainer to avoid your teeth shifting back to where they started before Invisalign treatment. Runnels Retainers differ from traditional retainers in that they are invisible and do not have the exposed metal wires. Runnels Retainers are custom made per patient using 3-D imaging for a perfect fit. It is more comfortable than a traditional retainer, and you get 12 sets of Runnels Retainers to take home with you.
FAQ About Getting Orthodontic Care
1. Do I Need a Referral from My Dentist?
Most people think that they need a referral from their dentist to schedule an orthodontist exam. However, that is not true, and you can call and schedule your own appointment.
2. Will I Need to Extract Any Teeth for Invisalign?
Sometimes tooth extraction is necessary for the best results from your Invisalign treatment, but removing teeth is not always needed.
3. How Long Does Invisalign Take for Complete Results?
The complete treatment process varies upon the complexities of each patient. Generally, it takes eight to 30 months to complete an Invisalign treatment.
4. Do I Need to See My Family Dentist During Invisalign Treatment?
Regular check-ups and cleanings with your family dentist are recommended throughout the entire Invisalign treatment.
5. What Age Should I Schedule an Orthodontic Screening?
When a child’s permanent teeth start coming in, it is a good time to schedule an orthodontic screening, usually around the age of seven. Although most orthodontic treatments start between the ages of 11 and 15, it is good to make sure everything checks out okay, and sometimes early intervention is necessary.
6. Will My Teeth Straighten As I Grow Older?
Your mouth does not grow bigger as you age, in fact, once the molars come in, the space in your mouth actually gets smaller and does not give any room for teeth to straighten. If you have crooked teeth or crowded teeth, it is best to make an appointment to get evaluated.
7. How Much Will My Treatment Cost?
It is hard to give an estimate of treatment cost until after your evaluation. Each person’s smile is unique and may require more or less treatment than others. The exact treatment cost for you or your child and all your financial options will be reviewed in detail at the initial appointment. Several financing options are available, and we will review your insurance policy and make a claim on your behalf.
8. Can I Go Back to Work or School After I Receive Invisalign?
Returning back to work or school after an orthodontic appointment is recommended. The discomfort from the treatment is very minimal and should not interfere with daily activities.
9. How Often Should I Brush My Teeth With Orthodontic Treatment?
To help reduce the risk of cavities, it is best to brush after every meal or at least four times a day. Carrying a travel toothbrush with you is a good idea so you can have the ability to brush your teeth on the go.
10. Are Adults Too Old for Orthodontic Treatment?
You are never too old for Invisalign or braces. Over 25 percent of orthodontic patients are adults. Your smile directly affects your self-esteem, your health, and your confidence. It is very important that you have a great smile no matter what your age.
Ready for Your New Smile
If you are ready for your new smile, schedule your appointment today with Dr. Scott Runnels at Runnels Orthodontics. We have three convenient locations in Destin, Inlet Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. We offer a full line of orthodontic care including Invisalign, Runnels Retainers, Carriere Distalizer, traditional braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, PROPEL, teeth whitening, sports mouth guards, laser gum sculpting, and S.M.A.R.T. Analysis. We strive to make the lives of our patients better by providing high quality, efficient, and compassionate service from our highly trained and professional staff.