When a patient decides to get Invisalign braces, it seems like a straightforward dental treatment. You wear the nearly invisible trays for about a year, give or take, and at the end your teeth are perfectly aligned. There is more to the process, though. Attachments are a critical part of straightening your teeth with Invisalign, and they are an element that many patients will need to make sure their treatment is working properly.
Understanding Invisalign Attachments
Attachments are tiny, enamel-colored dots or bumps made of dental bonding or composite resin that are temporarily attached to the front of certain teeth. They are intended to serve as anchors to help the aligners latch onto the teeth more snugly so that tooth movement is more easily and efficiently achieved. Here’s what you need to know:
- Not every Invisalign patient requires attachments, but many do.
- If you are one of the patients who finds him or herself with attachments, they may be square, circular, rectangular, or even triangular.
- Sizes will vary too depending which tooth the attachment is on and how much that tooth must move.
- You may find yourself with one or two attachments in total or an attachment on every tooth, in seemingly random but carefully targeted spots on each tooth.
- Even though the attachments may all look different from each other and are oddly patterned, they work together with the aligners to straighten teeth according to your established Invisalign plan and to get certain teeth to move at certain times.
- The placement of the attachments is strategic and the dots work like small anchors to allow for the proper force needed to move both tooth and root.
The Anatomy of an Invisalign Attachment
Invisalign attachments are tooth-colored so they blend into your smile but they do add visibility to an otherwise discreet teeth-straightening method. Aligners are still clear, no matter what, but they are carefully customized to accommodate the dots that are on your teeth. That means there will be tiny bumps on your Invisalign aligners to make room for the attachments.
When you remove the aligners for a meal or to clean your teeth, the bumps will be noticeable but not terribly so. What’s most important is cleaning the attachments just as carefully as you clean your aligners to ensure that they do not accumulate food specks and bacteria and become discolored. The better you clean your trays and attachments, the better your teeth will look throughout your Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign is an effective tooth-alignment method and it is popular because it is so user-friendly. While attachments may seem like a tedious addition to treatment, they are incredibly important and incredibly likely.
You don’t have to worry about Invisalign attachments being permanent though. Once treatment is complete, the dots will be completely buffed off the teeth and no one will ever know that they were there. Many Red Bank Invisalign patients like to add a professional teeth-whitening treatment to the end of their Invisalign process to complete a full-fledged smile makeover.
Wondering if Invisalign is right for you? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Carole Sherrod Jewell or Dr. Pauline Robinson at Red Bank Dentistry in Red Bank, NJ.