When our patients are considering orthodontic treatment at Dr. Darj Dental in El Paso, Texas, one of the most common questions we hear is “How long will it take?” Understandably, orthodontic treatment, including clear aligners, requires a significant time commitment. The good news is that, on average, clear aligners take far less time than traditional metal braces.
Metal wire-and-bracket braces can take up to three years to correct crooked teeth, but what about clear aligners? Our expert dentist, Mehrnoosh Darj, DDS, zeroes in on that answer here.
How long do aligners take to straighten your teeth?
Each treatment plan is unique, and that means the treatment duration varies from person to person. If you have mild alignment concerns, your ClearCorrect® treatment could be as short as six months.
“Mild” orthodontic concerns are defined as:
- Crowding and spacing issues no greater than 3 millimeters
- Mild malocclusion (misalignment)
- Overbite no greater than 3 millimeters
For comparison, moderate orthodontic concerns fall into the 4-6 millimeter range. Even if you have mild malocclusion, your treatment duration is still contingent on how well you follow the protocols.
You must wear the clear aligners 20-22 hours each day, and you must replace your aligners every 1-2 weeks, or as directed by Dr. Darj. Failure to wear your aligners for the allotted time can prolong your treatment timeline.
What if your teeth are very crooked?
Although some straightening treatments can be completed in less than a year, the average length of ClearCorrect use ranges from 12-18 months. But you’ll start to notice a difference in your smile after a few weeks.
During your treatment planning, Dr. Darj utilizes cutting-edge digital technology to take 3D images of your mouth and implement a digital treatment plan with ClearPilot™. This program outlines all of your projected aligners and an estimated timeline.
Can you shorten your treatment timeline?
While you can’t speed up the timeline, there are several things you can do to prevent unwanted extensions of your plan. Tips for staying on track include:
- Wearing your aligners for 22 hours each day
- Taking care of your aligners (getting replacements for broken trays can add to your timeline)
- Changing to the next set of clear aligners on time — including packing them with you if you’ll be traveling when you need to swap out aligners
- Attending all scheduled check-ins
If you notice any issues with your aligners, or if you lose one, let Dr. Darj know as soon as possible to prevent delays in your treatment.
Is ClearCorrect right for you?
If you’re unhappy with crooked teeth, clear aligners can help straighten your teeth in a comfortable, discreet, metal-free system of trays. There’s no need for metal brackets or wires — greatly reducing the risk of cuts, blisters, and lacerations. This treatment, regardless of length, is a more comfortable option for straightening your smile.
Are you ready to learn more about how ClearCorrect will work for you? Call our El Paso, Texas, office today at 915-213-4097 or book a ClearCorrect consultation online.