The Facts About Invisalign Attachments

Minneapolis, MN – Whether or not you’ve actually undergone the treatment yourself, you’ve likely heard of Invisalign by now. This revolutionary orthodontic option has been around for about 20 years, allowing people to straighten their teeth in a virtually invisible manner.

“Each patient has a unique bite, and so everyone’s Invisalign treatment is different,” says your ORTHODONTIST, an Invisalign Premier Provider. “Some people need only a simple process to straighten their teeth, while others require a significant amount of modifications, Luckily, Invisalign allows for an almost unlimited amount of customizations that allow for the best smile possible.”

What Are Invisalign Attachments?

 Basically, Invisalign attachments are tooth-colored dots that can be bonded to teeth in precise locations to help adjust treatment. Invisalign on its own cannot rotate teeth, so attachments allow the aligners to be modified to allow for more complex tooth movements.

Both the shape and location of each attachment are based on their functions. Shapes can vary from small circles to triangles, ellipses, or rectangles. Attachments function as anchors for the Invisalign trays, allowing a wide variety of movements for the teeth. For example, some teeth can be brought farther past the gum line or moved into a more favorable position that Invisalign alone cannot accomplish.

In some cases, after an Invisalign treatment simulation, your dentist or orthodontist decides that attachments are necessary. If this is your situation, these dots will be painlessly affixed to your teeth and will allow your overall treatment to progress successfully. Once the necessary movements have been accomplished, your Invisalign provider will remove the attachments –again, painlessly—with the help of a polishing tool.

An ORTHODONTIST elaborates, “While not all patients will require attachments during their Invisalign treatment, those who do need them will notice a dramatic final effect in the form of a smile they may not have thought possible to achieve.”

What About Invisalign Buttons?

Though the terms “buttons” and “attachments” may be used interchangeably at times when it comes to orthodontic treatment, they do serve different functions. Attachments help move an individual tooth’s position; buttons work as anchors to which Invisalign bands can be attached, and are often made of small metal or plastic brackets secured to the teeth.

Invisalign bands (sometimes called “rubber bands”) work in a similar manner to those worn with traditional braces; they can help with jaw and bite problems, allowing the treatment to progress much more smoothly in the end. Your orthodontist will explain to you which attachments or buttons, if any, are appropriate for your case.

Tips for Invisalign Attachments

 As with any orthodontic treatment, every situation will be catered to your individual case. However, these tips can make the process go a bit smoother:

  • Prepare yourself. Ask questions if you’re not sure what your treatment entails. Some appointments for Invisalign attachments can take one hour or more, depending on the amount of modifications needed. It might be helpful to schedule these appointments during the end of the day or week, as the adjustments can take a little getting used to in terms of comfort.
  • Prevent staining. If you’re a tea, coffee, or red wine drinker, be aware that these beverages might stain your Invisalign and/or its attachments. Talk with your Invisalign provider to discuss how to best avoid this potential issue.
  • Be on the lookout for helpful products to assist you. Nowadays, there are many accessories meant especially for Invisalign. For example, there are helpful cleaning kits, removal tools, and assistive devices. Again, it’s always best to discuss your options with your orthodontist, but if you experience any discomfort or problems with your treatment, odds are you’re not alone and that a good solution now exists.

If you’re interested in seeing what Invisalign can do for you, schedule a free consultation with your ORTHODONTIST today! If you prefer, you can also call us at 651.447.6768, or visit our Minneapolis/St. Paul-area office.

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