Invisalign has become a popular orthodontic treatment method for patients around the world. It was available originally on the market for patients with less complicated malocclusions or bites. But thanks to advanced technology in orthodontics, including Invisalign attachments, patients with more severe orthodontic conditions can embark on a journey with Invisalign clear braces.
What are Invisalign attachments
Invisalign attachments are small tooth-colored shapes that are attached to the teeth before or during treatment by using dental composites. The attachments are applied to the necessary teeth prescribed in the treatment plan customized to the case. The exact locations help the aligners to fit tightly on the teeth as they guide and shift them to the prescribed positions.
Attachments are available in different shapes and sizes depending on the case. They may be rectangular, circular, square, or triangular. The orientation and shape are determined by how much movement is needed to realign the teeth.
Are attachments mandatory with Invisalign treatment?
Not everyone who invests in Invisalign clear braces will need attachments. If the treatment plan is straightforward, the aligners alone can effectively guide and move the teeth. But this is all dependent on the advice and recommendation of your dental professional.
For patients with more challenging orthodontic conditions, Invisalign attachments can help make tooth movement possible. Using the aligners alone is difficult in making significant changes to the smile. Attachments help the aligners apply the right amount of force in the right direction more predictably
How are Invisalign attachments applied to the teeth?
A template created from the 3D digital scans, X-rays, and diagnostic photos taken at the initial appointment will precisely show where the attachments need to apply to the teeth. The teeth must be clean before the attachments are installed to ensure the dental bonding glue secures.
The bonding material is placed in predetermined spots, and a curing light will harden the composite material. After installed, the attachments will stay in place for the entirety of treatment. The custom-fit clear aligner trays will fit over each attachment properly for a snug fit.
Are the attachments noticeable?
The color of the Invisalign attachments is matched to the patient’s tooth color. Using the correct shade ensures that the attachments are discreet. They are not noticeable underneath the Invisalign clear braces, and when aligners are not in the mouth, the small shapes are only visible to those paying close attention.
An alternate option for bonding Invisalign attachments is to apply them to the inside of the teeth. With this option, they are hidden while still performing effectively. Bonding the attachments from the inside of the teeth is not suitable for every treatment, so it’s important to discuss all options with your dentist. Either way, patients should keep in mind that the attachments are only temporary.
Do Invisalign attachments hurt?
When the attachments get applied to the teeth, there may be a slight adjustment period. With the use of attachments, the clear aligners will fit more tightly on the teeth, which can cause some discomfort. It does require practice and patience, as patients must get used to inserting and removing the aligners.
How are the Invisalign attachments removed?
Invisalign attachments can be removed just as easily as they are applied. The dentist will use a tool to remove the majority of the bonding agent without damaging the tooth enamel and then an ultrasonic scaler to remove any remaining material. After the attachments are dissolved from the teeth, patients can witness how effective the attachments were in shifting the teeth to their desired position.
Will Invisalign attachments stain my teeth
The attachments will not damage the teeth as long as the patient is diligent about an at-home oral hygiene routine. But staining is more common. For the attachments to remain as discreet as possible, thoroughly brush after drinking acidic beverages and foods. More specifically, soft drinks, black tea, coffee, and red wine. If the attachments become stained during treatment, consult with your dentist about possible solutions, including having the surface of the teeth polished around the attachments or potential whitening treatments.
Can Invisalign attachments fall off?
Invisalign attachments can fall off — but it’s not something to be overly concerned about. It’s recommended to call your dentist immediately and schedule an appointment to have the detached button or buttons replaced. In the meantime, it is essential to continue wearing the aligners. It’s also recommended to get this issue corrected as soon as possible as the purpose of the attachments is to create a certain amount of force and movement on the tooth. If not replaced, the teeth with missing attachments will not move to their prescribed placement.
Do I have to restrict my diet?
With Invisalign clear braces, patients do not have to restrict or limit their diets, as the aligners are easily removable, therefore, you do not need to change eating habits if attachments are part of the Invisalign treatment plan. With that said, it is still important to be mindful about what type of food and drinks are consumed. It’s recommended to try and avoid sticky or hard foods that could potentially damage the attachments and to brush immediately after drinking dark liquids, such as coffee or red wine, to eliminate or reduce any staining or discoloration.
Overall, Invisalign attachments give orthodontic patients an additional treatment option. But not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign clear braces. Book a consultation with your dentist to discuss treatment options best suited to your specific orthodontic needs.