How Long Does It Take For Clear Aligners To Work?

If you’re unhappy with your smile’s alignment or bite, then you might be exploring your clear aligner treatment options and wondering how it works. 

Even if the treatment is discreet, most patients are eager to get through it as quickly as possible and get perfectly straight teeth. So the question begs, how long will your treatment last? 

Read this short blog post to find the answer.

Understanding Clear Aligners

Clear aligners reposition your teeth by applying gentle pressure to them. A dentist will scan your teeth and map out how your teeth should move to correct your alignment problems. Your clear aligners are made based on these scans to allow a highly precise treatment.

This type of orthodontic treatment can effectively treat most types of minor to moderate alignment issues, but it's usually not a good solution for:

  • Severe alignment issues: More complex cases such as rotated teeth may still need more pressure to fix, which only traditional braces can provide. 
  • Skeletal bite issues: If you have an improper bite because of the jawbone, then clear aligners won’t help. You may need braces, surgery, or a combination to fix it.

How Long Does Clear Aligner Therapy Last?

Mild cases may only need around six months of clear aligner therapy, though your exact timeline depends on the type of alignment issues you have and, specifically, how much your teeth need to move.

On average, clear aligner therapy is faster than braces due to:

  • Higher precision: The dental scan that maps the realignment significantly cuts down on treatment length. 
  • Less severe cases: Since braces are used to tackle serious cases of misalignment, it stands to reason that these treatments will take longer.

Can You Speed up the Clear Aligner Process?

The best thing you can do to speed things along is follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter. These can include: 

  1. Wear the aligners correctly: You’ll need to have them on for at least 22 hours every single day. Yes, you’ll have to sleep with them on as well!

  2. Take them out when eating and drinking: You should only drink clear water with your aligners on, and especially avoid exposing them to heat, as this can change their shape.

  3. Clean your teeth and aligners daily: You should brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear soap every day, along with your regular oral hygiene routine. This reduces the risk of developing oral health issues like cavities during your treatment, which could delay your clear aligner therapy.

Getting Clear Aligners at Rio Vista Family Dentistry

If you want to know if you’re a good candidate for clear aligners, our Mission Valley dentists can walk you through your options.

Request an appointment at Rio Vista Family Dentistry online or call us at (619) 299-1122 today to learn more.

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