What Are Invisalign Attachments?

invisalign attachments

Tuckahoe, NY – Patients of all ages love the discreet orthodontic treatment option provided by Invisalign. Not only are Invisalign aligners clear, they’re also removable, so you don’t have to adjust your diet while in treatment. Invisalign offers a discreet and comfortable way to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

However, there are some things that go into Invisalign treatment that patients need to understand before beginning treatment. 

“Invisalign offers an excellent way for many patients to improve their smiles,” says Dr. Sam Polan of Tuckahoe Family Orthodontics. “Each set of aligners exerts a constant, gentle force to guide the teeth to a desired location. But sometimes, the force exerted by the aligners isn’t enough to achieve certain tooth movements.”

In these cases, Dr. Polan uses Invisalign attachments to help achieve the desired movement. But what are these attachments exactly?

Attachments are small, tooth-colored dots that are bonded to the teeth using a composite material. Because they are tooth-colored, you don’t have to worry about them sticking out too much. They are typically placed near the center of your tooth to provide an anchor for your aligner trays. 

These attachments give Dr. Polan an extra bit of force and added precision when using Invisalign aligners. They also allow for patients with more severe malocclusions to have Invisalign treatment as an option. Prior to the use of attachments, Invisalign was only recommended for patients with mild to moderate malocclusions. Now, Invisalign can be used for the majority of issues because the attachments provide the force needed.

For example, if a tooth needs to be rotated or lifted up above the gumline, or if a tooth is shaped differently or angled a certain way, an aligner alone may not be able to apply the correct pressure to move it. Attachments work to provide an anchor point for the aligner to work more effectively and efficiently. 

The attachments can be different shaped, depending on the needs of the tooth. They may be circular, triangular, rectangular, or square. Dr. Polan will determine what your unique needs are. There are a few things you’ll need to be aware of prior to getting your Invisalign treatment with attachments:

  1. The attachments will click into the aligners at their designated locations. This ensures the aligners are working properly, but also means it may take a bit of time to get used to putting the aligners in seamlessly. But after some practice, you’ll have it down in no time. 
  2. Your aligners are removable, so you won’t have brackets and wires in your way when you brush and floss or eat and drink. However, you will need to carefully brush around your attachments to ensure any food debris is removed prior to putting your aligners back in your mouth. 
  3. If you aren’t diligent about brushing and flossing, plaque can build up around your attachments, which can lead to decalcification spots on your teeth after treatment.
  4. Placing the attachments is a simple, pain-free procedure. After the surface of your tooth is prepared to receive the bonding agent, Dr. Polan will use a template to mark where the attachment should be placed. Once placed, a special curing light will allow the material to harden properly. 
  5. Once the attachments have done their jobs, they are simply buffed away.

While not every patient who opts for Invisalign will require attachments for their treatment, for those who do, the attachments ensure an ideal outcome can be achieved. And you’ll still be receiving treatment that is highly discreet, comfortable, and removable. 

Call Tuckahoe Family Orthodontics today to learn more about how Invisalign can help your smile. 

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