Invisalign Time Commitment
There are “quick” fixes in cosmetic dentistry for patients who want an aligned smile immediately. However, if you are willing to put in the work to get straight teeth, Invisalign pays great dividends. You can go about daily life with no one being the wiser about the nearly invisible aligners on your teeth. There are no food restrictions. It’s easy to clean your teeth properly. All better than traditional metal braces, right?
But what about the Invisalign time commitment? You must be willing to go all-in for this treatment to be successful and, if you do, the rewards will be sweet. Once Philadelphia dentist Dr. Ken Cirka, a Gold Invisalign Provider, has identified you as a viable candidate for Invisalign, the adventure begins.
Time Commitment for Invisalign Dental Appointments
Wearers of traditional metal braces usually have dental appointments for tightening and adjustments once a month. Overall treatment time with Invisalign is cut in half compared to metal braces, and visits to your Invisalign provider are far less frequent.
- Records appointment – 50 minutes. This is the prep visit, where detailed scans, photographs, and X-rays of your teeth will be taken so your Invisalign aligners can be customized. The next appointment will be in approximately 2 weeks.
- First appointment – 60 minutes. Your Philadelphia Invisalign provider will place your first set of aligners and teach you how to insert and remove them without causing any damage and so the aligners do the work they’re intended to do. Attachments will be placed on your teeth to allow the aligners to fit snugly and, if necessary, teeth will be slenderized to allow room for proper movement. Every 6 to 8 weeks, you will visit one of our great doctors to receive your next sets of aligners.
- Monitoring visits – 20 to 30 minutes each. At each appointment, Dr. Cirka, Dr. Jeon or Dr. Ridge will make sure your teeth are shifting as intended. If more slenderizing is needed, it will be done at these visits. You can get a good idea of how many monitoring appointments you will need based on the number of aligner sets that have been prescribed for your alignment.
Some refinement of your teeth may be necessary after the initial order of aligners has been completed (in about 6-12 months, on average). Equilibration of your bite is a series of small adjustments to the shapes of your back teeth that help them fit together better. These minor edits are an expected part of Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign On Your Own Time
The most important variable in the success of your Invisalign treatment is to wear the aligners precisely as instructed. Invisalign is a big commitment and a major responsibility. Your Invisalign provider is there to design your new smile, provide the treatment materials, and support you along the way. However, what happens on your own time is the biggest element in Invisalign success.
Here are the rules of Invisalign:
- Wear aligners a minimum of 22 hours a day. No exceptions.
- Wear each aligner for a minimum of 1 week, or as directed by your Invisalign provider. Even if your aligner seems loose, be patient. Movement is happening under the surface. It may take longer for the roots to catch up with the tooth of the crown.
- Each set of Invisalign aligners needs between 150 hours of wear to move and settle your teeth before moving on to the next aligners.
You can’t fudge your diligence or try to make your Invisalign provider believe you’ve been wearing the aligners when you really haven’t. Invisalign only works when you are wearing the aligners, and your Philadelphia dentist can tell immediately when teeth have been ignored.
The only time your Invisalign aligners should be out of your mouth is for eating and drinking, brushing and flossing, and cleaning of the aligners. There are no other reasons to take them out – Invisalign braces have been designed to be practically invisible so they do not disrupt your appearance or daily life.
After Invisalign Treatment
Once your personalized series of Invisalign braces have been worn to completion, the journey is not quite over. Just like traditional metal braces, you want to keep your carefully shifted teeth in their new, proper positions. This is done with retainers.
- Retainers are worn full time, just like Invisalign, for 6 weeks.
- After the 6 weeks, retainers are only worn at night.
- If you want to wean off your retainers, they can be worn nightly for 9-12 months, then 2 nights a week.
- Ideally, retainers should be worn forever. Without retainer use, it is possible for teeth to move out of place again.
Retainers will need to be replaced eventually, though your first set – included with your Invsalign fee – should last 1 to 2 years.
Ready to Commit to Invisalign?
Find out if you are a good candidate for Invisalign. Consult with a Gold Provider of Invisalign, Dr. Ken Cirka, Dr. Mimi Jeon and Dr. Evan Ridge, located in Center City in Philadelphia. Find out what your individual treatment will entail, including time commitment and cost, and achieve the straight smile you’ve always wanted.