Invisalign trays are customized to each patient’s mouth and designed to move several teeth at a time until your entire smile is in alignment. The trays do not do all this hard work on their own, however. Invisalign attachments are a critical part of this straightening method.
The Job of Invisalign Attachments
Invisalign attachments are tiny “dots” made of composite resin or dental bonding material that are temporarily attached to the teeth so Invisalign aligners can snap into place more snugly. They work sort of like anchors, holding the trays in place and creating the force needed to shift teeth and their roots.
Attachments come in a variety of shapes, from circles to squares to rectangles to triangles. Their position on your teeth will also vary. You may have a front tooth sporting a square attachment at the top, an incisor with a round attachment toward the bottom, or a molar with a triangular attachment. While their positioning and design may look arbitrary, they are anything but – attachments are strategically placed to improve the grip of the Invisalign aligners.
Are Attachments Noticeable?
Patients choose Invisalign because they want an alignment method that is discreet and efficient. Attachments are tooth-colored so they will blend into tooth enamel, but their presence does add to the visibility of the treatment overall.
Your trays will be carefully designed with small bump-outs to accommodate the attachments and fit precisely around them. This feature will not be obvious when the Invisalign aligners are in your mouth. However, when you remove Invisalign for meals or cleaning, the attachments will be more noticeable.
Cleaning your teeth and trays after eating and drinking will be more important than ever when you have attachments. It is critical to ensure that no food particles accumulate on the attachments to avoid discoloration that can draw unwanted attention to your treatment – and just make your teeth look gross.
Living with Invisalign Attachments
Not every Invisalign patient needs attachments, though most wearers do require these enamel-colored dots to get the work done, whether you’re an adult wearing Invisalign or you’re a lucky Invisalign Teen. Only cases with the most minor of malocclusions are likely to escape the need for attachments. Just don’t be daunted by them – every little technique that can help shift your teeth more efficiently and effectively is worth the effort.
Attachments do make popping your Invisalign trays in and out a little more difficult. Because the attachments make the aligners fit very securely, they will need to be fitted in place just so. It will take some time to adjust to Invisalign – and adjust to Invisalign with attachments.
After Treatment Is Complete
When you have finished your entire course of Invisalign treatment, the attachments will be completely buffed off your tooth enamel, with no evidence of their presence left behind. Many patients choose to undergo professional teeth whitening after Invisalign for a truly stunning and complete smile makeover.
Find out if you’re a good candidate for this clear alignment method. Dr. Alana Macalik is a certified Invisalign provider in Arlington, TX. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.