Some things are better left to nostalgia. Bell bottoms, 8-track tapes and lime-green American Motors Gremlins are a few cultural relics we’d all like to leave in the past. Add to the list the gleaming metal braces that were once a rite of passage for many teens.

Thankfully, they’ve been rendered largely obsolete by Invisalign, a clear and convenient alternative. Below, experienced San Jose, Los Gatos and Campbell dentist Dr. Ashwini Bhave describes how today this remarkable technology is benefiting teens and adults alike.

Gentle Movement

Invisalign retainers, known as aligners, are made of clear plastic that gradually moves crooked teeth into place. Computer-assisted design makes it possible for a nearly invisible retainer to do the work of the old metal-plus-bonding-cement approach, and do it more quickly. The aligners are hard to notice and easy to forget, and can be removed quickly for eating and social occasions.

Invisalign requires a very modest investment of time. The first step in the smile-enhancing process is to take X-rays and make an impression of your bite. This allows Dr. Bhave to generate a digital three-dimensional image of your mouth, which provides a baseline used to create your first aligner.

You’ll wear your aligner 20 to 22 hours a day. Dr. Bhave will provide you with a new clear Invisalign every one to two weeks, and monitor your progress with regular appointments. With this advanced technology, your goals can normally be achieved within a year to 18 months.

Clear Choices

There are several varieties of Invisalign aligners available. Invisalign Full treats complex bite cases with a product worn on the top and bottom teeth. Invisalign Lite is appropriate when less tooth movement is necessary to attain the final straightening. Invisalign i7 is able to target one tooth or a small number of teeth that stand out in an otherwise orderly mouth. It is often recommended for patients who once had orthodontic treatment and have since experienced drifting of some teeth.

Invisalign Teen is perfect for a mouth that is still developing in the adolescent years. This new product also comes with a clever benefit for parents: A color indicator reveals in a glance whether your teen is wearing the aligner the required number of hours each day.

To learn more about Invisalign, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhave at her San Jose office by calling or emailing Dental Bay Area Specialists today.