Invisalign: New Year, New You?

Back of woman in triumphant pose

I’m wondering if I’m a candidate for Invisalign. My coworkers and I are planning this “New Year, New You” contest, and we’re all chipping $100 bucks into a pot. The person who has the most dramatic transformation over the year keeps it all. There at least 15 of us doing it so far, so the windfall could be huge. Granted, the money isn’t the only reason I’m entering. I really want to focus on self-improvement this year anyway. I’ve been carrying around 50 extra pounds since my son was born… ummm…. That was five years ago now. I’ve already got my fitness boot camp pre-paid (eek!), so that’s good to go. And, I’m looking for other ways to improve how I look and feel. I don’t want surgery of any kind. The only other thing I can think of is to get my teeth worked on. I had braces done when I was a teen, and since then, my teeth have drifted a bit. I’m also a mega coffee drinker, so maybe teeth whitening too? Anyway, will the Invisalign work on me within a year, or would I have to resort to more… uh… drastic measures?



Dear Meghan,

That sounds incredibly exciting! Invisalign is a great choice for adults because it allows you to correct your smile quickly, and without all those wires and metal brackets you probably wore the first time around. It works well for most people, and because you’ve already had braces once, you’re probably a perfect candidate for this.

Your Length Time in Invisalign Will Depend On…

The younger you are, and the more recently you’ve had braces, the quicker the aligners will work. That’s because it takes teeth some time to firm up after treatment. In fact, some of your drift may be caused by that, and you’ll want to wear a retainer after this round of treatment to prevent it from happening again.

Your Spacing: If your teeth have traveled quite a bit, you’ll need more aligners, and more time, to bring them back where they belong.

Other Dental Issues: If you’re dealing with a misaligned jaw or other issues that needs to be corrected, it might take longer or you may have to go with traditional braces.

Your Dedication: The aligners can be taken out when you eat and for cleaning, but you’re supposed to wear them the rest of the time; both day and night. If you start to slack off and don’t wear them like you need to, you won’t make progress.

You Can Expect to Wear Invisalign for (Drumroll, Please…)

A year or less. Whereas traditional braces take 12-24 months, the aligners typically work in about 12. People who have already had braces once don’t usually need much correction, so some finish in as few as 6 months. Now, this is not a guarantee. A dentist will need to examine your teeth and plan out treatment. That’s the only way you’ll know for sure if you’re a candidate for it and how long your treatment is expected to last. For your best bet, get in for an exam before the year is up, so you can get started with treatment as soon as the new year begins. If you’re going for the whitening as well, you’ll want to do that after you finish straightening your teeth. Plan to spend a couple weeks on that if you’re doing at-home whitening, or speed up the process by having Zoom done in the office. Good luck!

This blog is sponsored by Elgin Dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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