Attachments, Buttons and Elastics – Oh My!

St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN – Invisalign as a wonderful technology that has revolutionized the way orthodontists are able to straighten teeth. Patients love it because it can conveniently fit into their lifestyles. But sometimes, with more serious malocclusions, the simple aligners aren’t enough on their own to guide the teeth to their proper locations.

“We know patients love Invisalign, and now, with the introduction of attachments and buttons, Invisalign can treat a wider spectrum of patients,” says your doctor, a St. Paul/Minneapolis orthodontist. “When Invisalign was first introduced, it was really only effective for simple malocclusions. Attachments allow for Invisalign to treat more difficult cases, allowing a wider audience to benefit from the advantages Invisalign offers.”

So what are these buttons? They are essentially bumps on the tooth or teeth that are created from tooth-colored dental bonding material. Your doctor places them in the middle of the tooth, providing an anchor point to help better direct the forces of the aligner.

Before treatment begins, your orthodontist should be able to discuss whether your case will require attachments or not. And with Invisalign’s technology, you’ll be able to see when and how they’ll be used to improve your smile.

Because the attachments are tooth colored, they will blend in with your natural teeth. One of the things patients love so much about Invisalign is that the aligners are clear, meaning they aren’t noticeable to others. Depending on where your attachments are placed, they may be a little more obvious, especially if they are placed near the front teeth. However, they will still be very discrete.

When you take your aligners out to eat, drink and care for your teeth, the attachments may feel rough on the inside of your mouth. You will also need to pay close attention when brushing to be sure you’ve removed any food particles that may have gotten stuck on the attachments.

Buttons are plastic or metal brackets to which elastics can be attached. Similar to how elastics work with metal braces, one will be placed on an upper eyetooth and another on a lower molar. The elastic will then run from the top tooth to the bottom tooth. This will allow teeth to move to their ideal locations, while still being able to reap the benefits of using Invisalign.

Buttons will be placed as close to the gumline as possible. Your aligners will be adjusted accordingly to allow room for the buttons. While plastic buttons can blend in with your natural tooth, the elastic will still be visible when speaking to others.

“It’s wonderful that we have seen these new additions to the Invisalign family because it allows us to treat even most patients with this treatment option,” says your doctor. “While attachments and buttons can make your aligners a bit more noticeable, we’ve found that teens and adults love Invisalign because even with those, it allows them to straighten their teeth more discretely that metal braces would.”

If you’re interested in learning how Invisalign can help you, call your doctor today.

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