Does Invisalign Take Longer than Braces?

Options for Creating Your Perfect Smile

clock in office on a blue background

At Pachter Orthodontics, patients tend to have one big question during their smile assessment: “Does Invisalign take longer to complete than braces?”

The total amount of time patients spend with traditional braces or Invisalign depends on several factors. Everyone’s treatment is as unique as their smile, and these differences can change the expected length of treatment:

  • What kind of bite issues are we correcting?
  • Is the patient going to all of their check-ups?
  • How diligent is the patient in following their treatment plan?

However, almost always, Invisalign is significantly faster than traditional metal braces when it comes to correcting smiles! Let’s break this down and look at why Invisalign comes out on top in the braces race.

Orthodontic Treatment Time: Braces vs. Invisalign

To put it simply, the average time you’ll spend with your new aligners is about 12 months, while braces take 18-24 months. With a minimum 6 month-difference, the comparison is pretty powerful!

Your smile situation will also play a part in how long straightening your teeth takes with Invisalign. Minor issues can take as little as 6 months, while more complex cases will take up to as long as 18 months. Some major orthodontic issues like severe crowding can only be treated with braces, however. Your available treatment options will be evaluated by your orthodontist.

person holding up invisalign trays

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a clear orthodontic aligner system that uses a series of clear, plastic aligners to straighten teeth. Trays are custom-made from SmartTrack material, making them more comfortable than any other treatment option. Every two weeks, Invisalign involves switching out the patient’s current tray for the next one in their orthodontic plan until they achieve a smile you love!

Many patients love treatment because the aligners are clear and create a beautiful smile without the metal wires and 24-hour wear time to straighten your teeth.

If you are worried about feeling self-conscious while wearing braces, you might feel like invisible aligners are your only option. However, ceramic braces can also bring you the same result for fixing tooth bite issues while keeping your orthodontics discreet.

What Makes Invisalign Faster?

The difference in time may be explained by the way the two systems work: Invisalign uses a series of clear aligner trays to achieve straighter teeth, while traditional braces use a fixed set of metal brackets that are bonded to the teeth and don’t move.

Aligners are faster because, unlike braces, the trays put force on all the teeth to move them while braces move each tooth individually. While this gives metal braces the power to move teeth more dramatically, it also means that they move them slower.

happy woman smiling on chair

Getting the Most Out of Your Aligner Trays

We want you to get the best treatment possible when you’re transforming your smile. And that means helping every patient understand how to get the fastest (and good-looking!) results when you wear your Invisalign.

The plastic trays are traded out every two weeks as treatment progresses. In between your tray getting different aligners, clear aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day to stay on track.

In addition, make sure you’re following your orthodontist’s guidelines for brushing your teeth! Poor dental hygiene can actually prevent you from getting the results you need. Whether you get clear trays or braces, regular brushing and flossing to keep up your overall oral health will be an important part of getting straight teeth on schedule, with results that you’ll love!

Let’s Talk Teeth at Pachter!

Interested in getting a smile that puts a spring in your step? Invisalign is a great option for straightening teeth. It’s fast, comfortable, and offers amazing results. Find out what kind of a difference Invisalign trays could make for you by talking to an orthodontist at our office! It’s time to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.