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Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

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Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

patient login orthofi

Braces used to be a one-size-fits-all treatment where patients had to endure generic, uncomfortable metal braces no matter their individual treatment needs. Thankfully, those days are long gone. Not only have metal braces come a long way in terms of durability, versatility, customization, and comfort but there are also other treatment options available. One of these new treatments is Invisalign.

Invisalign provides numerous benefits in comfort, but many patients wonder how long the treatment takes compared to conventional braces. Continue reading to learn about Invisalign treatments, including why you should consider them as a viable treatment option and how long the treatment should take.

Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.

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What is Invisalign?

For over 20 years, Invisalign has offered patients a way out of the conventional experience of wearing metal braces. Using aligners made of medical-grade plastic, orthodontists can treat most of the alignment issues addressed by braces with Invisalign.

Depending on each patient’s needs, these aligners are replaced every few weeks until the treatment is done.

Factors that Affect Treatment Time

Each patient’s unique situation requires different treatment times. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate the total treatment time of Invisalign without taking a few factors into account. These include:

Crowding and Gaps

Crowding can have many causes, including a jaw that is too small, trauma to the mouth during tooth development, or genetics. When teeth are crowded, they take up too much or too little space and become misaligned as a result.

Gaps can also be caused by teeth that are too small for a patient’s jaw. These gaps can be corrected using Invisalign, but the larger the gap, the longer the treatment will take.


A patient’s age affects how long Invisalign treatment will take. In your teenage years when your teeth and jaw are still growing, muscles and ligaments are more pliable. This allows teeth to move more easily and shortens the average treatment time for younger patients.

Individual Differences

Even though a patient’s age and the severity of their issues can affect treatment time, individual differences also have an impact. For some people, teeth simply move more easily. An older patient may have a shorter treatment time than a younger one simply due to their unique oral structures.

Additionally, successful Invisalign treatment involves a certain amount of individual choice. Since patients can remove their aligners, they might not be wearing them for the recommended amount of time.

Orthodontists recommend wearing Invisalign appliances for 22 hours a day or more to optimize treatment time.

Average Invisalign Treatment Time

Knowing all these factors, the average Invisalign treatment time can vary depending on the patient. However, most minor crowding issues are resolved in around 6 months. For more severe crowding issues, treatment may take a full year. Severe gaps may take even longer to treat, up to 18 months in many cases.

Though treatment takes 6-12 months on average, many patients begin seeing results from their Invisalign treatment within a few weeks.

Invisalign vs Braces

The above estimates indicate that Invisalign provides an alternative treatment that takes the same amount of time or less compared to metal braces. However, individual differences in patients’ oral structures can account for a lot of the difference in the average treatment time.

Therefore, the main differences between Invisalign and braces are cost, visibility, and comfort.

Cost Differences

Braces and Invisalign cost around the same on average, with treatments generally being around $3,000-$4,000. However, braces for minor issues may not cost as much, with some treatments starting at $1,800. By contrast, Invisalign treatment rarely costs less than $3,000.

Additionally, medical insurance benefits more commonly cover braces treatments. Since Invisalign is newer and viewed as more luxurious, some insurance companies offer less or no coverage for Invisalign.


The main draw to Invisalign is that the clear plastic aligners are less visible than braces. Particularly for people in professional jobs that require person-to-person communication, Invisalign offers a way to receive treatment without showing it off.


Since Invisalign appliances can be removed to eat, brush, and floss, they offer comfort that braces cannot. The tradeoff is the individual choice we mentioned. Since Invisalign aligners can be removed, patients must self-regulate their treatment time to make it as efficient as possible.

Additionally, foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy can cause the wires and brackets of metal braces to bend and break, causing discomfort and extra office visits. Invisalign does not come with this restriction since it can be removed to eat and drink.

Choose Reese Orthodontics

If you’re an adult who is considering Invisalign or braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.

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Easy Ways To Get Started

If you want to learn more about our orthodontic practice - where we offer extensive experience with a Board Certified Orthodontist, where we offer a satisfaction guarantee, and where we offer flexible payment options - Reese Orthodontics is here to serve you.

"Dr. Reese and staff share an inviting personality with a clean and professional atmosphere. I am very happy with the service, the product and the final result. I would encourage any of my friends and family to consult with Dr. Reese around their Orthodontic needs."
- Austin H.
"It has been a great experience all around getting braces at Dr. Reese Orthodontics. It's a great office with wonderful and friendly staff. I am extremely happy with the results. Can't say enough good things about Dr. Reese and his staff. I highly recommend him!"
- Nicole S.
"Dr. Reese and his staff was referred to me by a friend, and I highly recommend them! They were friendly, professional, helpful and quick to respond. I could not be happier with the results of Invisalign. I wore them about 7 months and my teeth are as straight as can be. Thank you for the great care and results!"
- Dancy E.
"I chose the absolute perfect orthodontist to perfect my smile. Dr. Reese has a personality that calms you and removes the anxiety that may come with the process. Dr. Reese is a true artist. I am so excited with my new smile. Dr. Reese accomplished the goals I was looking for and I am forever grateful. Thank you Dr. Reese!!!"
- Melanie C.
"Just awesome! Dr. Reese is the one to go to. He knows what he's doing and is great at what he does. Makes you feel like family every time you go visit. I can't get over how great my smile looks now. Definitely recommended."
- Harsha P.
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Reese Orthodontics.
Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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Our Charleston
Orthodontic Office

2057 Charlie Hall Blvd. STE D
Charleston, SC 29414


Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

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Dr. Reese McElveen, our award-winning orthodontist in Charleston, South Carolina has transformed the smiles of over 11,000 patients. Reese Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Types of braces and orthodontic treatment include metal braces, clear braces, gold braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon Braces, SureSmile. Dr. Reese can even help you achieve your confident smile faster with AcceleDent.

Call 843.573.7279 today to schedule your appointment with our board certified orthodontist in Charleston, SC, at our conveniently located Charleston orthodontic office. Come experience Reese Orthodontics and you will see for yourself that we offer innovative and effective orthodontic care in Charleston, Downtown Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Johns Island, Goose Creek, Hanahan and Ladson, South Carolina (SC).