How Long Does Tooth Alignment Take?

If you want a straighter smile, there are tons of options for tooth alignment. How long does the process typically take? Learn what to expect here.

If a tooth isn’t straight, should you have it aligned? The truth is tooth misalignment isn’t a cut-and-dry thing.

Some teeth misalignment can be a serious problem, and treat it immediately. While other problems are actually a benefit to you, and you might want to keep them.

How do you know the difference? How can you determine when to get tooth alignment?

When it comes to tooth alignment, the answers aren’t always clear. But what we can do is give you the best information about how you can decide for yourself. To know more, keep reading.

The Teeth Straightening Process

The teeth straightening process is a gradual one, requiring commitment and patience from patients. It begins with an initial consultation with an orthodontist who will evaluate the patient’s tooth alignment and develop a treatment plan.

This plan often includes wearing braces or aligners. It helps to move the teeth into proper alignment over a specific period of time. Throughout this process, X-rays may be taken to determine the progress of the straightening process.

Depending on the complexity of the situation, regular follow-up visits may be necessary to adjust braces or aligners for optimum results. After treatment is complete, the removal of braces and other appliances is the final step to reveal the patient’s beautifully straight smile.

Options for Tooth Alignment

A straight, healthy-looking smile is an asset, and there are a variety of options for tooth alignment. Each of these techniques has a unique set of pros and cons, so it is best to speak to the best orthodontist about what option is right for you.


Braces are a popular orthodontic treatment option used to correct and straighten misaligned teeth. Braces are typically worn between 12 and 36 months, depending on the severity of the tooth misalignment.

During this time, the braces gradually force the teeth into the correct position. During treatment, the patient will visit the orthodontist regularly, approximately every 6 to 8 weeks, to measure, adjust, and monitor the progress of the braces.

Additional time may be required if the patient has severe tooth or jaw alignment issues or if the braces need additional time to straighten the teeth. In most cases, braces are successful at properly aligning teeth within the prescribed timeframe and can offer a lifetime of confident smiles.


Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, custom-made plastic aligners. It sits comfortably on the teeth to gradually move them into the desired position.

The length of treatment depends on the complexity of the case, but in general, Invisalign takes about 12 months. But with minor cases, it takes as little as 6 months, and more complex cases extend beyond 18 months.

During treatment, new aligners are typically swapped every two weeks or so, and the patient should have regular visits to monitor progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed. The amount of time spent per appointment is typically shorter than traditional braces, making it convenient for busy individuals. 

Permanent Retainers

Permanent Retainers are used to prevent teeth from moving back to their original position following orthodontic treatment. It is typically bonded to the backside of the teeth and supported by an archwire.

When properly fitted and diligently worn, they help keep teeth in alignment and prevent shifting. Depending on the complexity of the dental issues being treated, the length of time to achieve full tooth alignment can vary widely.

Mild to moderate issues can take as little as 6 to 12 months, while complex cases may take up to two years or more. Permanent retainers usually require occasional tightening and adjustment of the archwire to ensure that teeth remain in alignment, potentially making treatment even longer.

However, the results are typically well worth the time and effort, as a successfully aligned smile tends to last for many years to come.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great option for tooth alignment due to their lasting effects, and many people are choosing them. They are a permanent solution to tooth alignment, and the process usually takes anywhere from a few months to about a year.

This includes the implantation of the implant, as well as the placement of the abutment, which prevents the shifting of the teeth. It can also take several sessions for the alignment to be completed, and these can take anywhere from one to two hours each.

After the alignment process is completed, the dental implants may need to be retightened or replaced every few years to ensure optimal results. Dental implants are an effective way to address misalignment and can provide long-term comfort and satisfaction with proper maintenance and care.

Jaw Surgery

Jaw Surgery is a surgical procedure that involves the reshaping, realigning, and repositioning of the jaw bones. This surgery is commonly performed by Oral Surgeons and Orthognathic Surgeons and is often used to correct malocclusions or misalignment of the teeth/upper and lower jaw.

Depending on the severity of the misalignment, the surgery can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Once complete, the patient will need to wear braces for up to two years in order to properly align the teeth.

Post-surgery, patients typically experience pain and swelling for the first week followed by a period of recovery. During this time, most individuals can return to work or school. However, vigorous physical activity should be avoided until a full recovery has been established.

Of course, the timeline for tooth alignment following Jaw Surgery may vary from person to person and will depend on several factors, including the complexity of the surgery, how well the patient follows post-operative instructions, and whether any complication occurred during the surgery.

Learn More About Tooth Alignment Today

On average, how long it takes to achieve straighter teeth depends on the severity of the misalignment and the type of treatment chosen. However, many treatments like Clear Aligners can produce results within 6-18 months.

If you’re interested in tooth alignment, consult with an orthodontist to discuss the best treatment for your specific situation.

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