Have no idea what Invisalign attachments are?

Your dentist has told you as part of your Invisalign treatment you’re going to have attachments placed on some teeth, but they haven’t really explained any further. Is this on the front or back surface? A large hook or small button? Will it ever come off?

What on earth are they actually attaching?!

Invisalign attachments are clever little things your dentist adds to your teeth to make Invisalign quicker and more effective.  Your dentist knows this, but sometimes they neglect to tell you.

In this article, we’ll explain what Invisalign attachments are and answer your common questions.

photo of invisalign attachments

What are Invisalign attachments?

Invisalign attachments are tiny buttons of white filling that are added to the front surface of your teeth. They give us an object for your Invisalign trays to push against in order to straighten them.

Why do we need them?

Remember going to the park as a kid and jumping on the roundabout?

Think of your tooth as the roundabout and the bars you stand between as the Invisalign attachments. When you push the bars the roundabout spins, and that’s the same for your tooth.

Invisalign attachments are cleverly placed in specific positions and sloped at different angles. We can work these angles to rotate and tilt your teeth in order to straighten them like the bars help spin a roundabout.

How do we place Invisalign attachments?

They’re placed in exactly the same way as you’d have a composite filling.

It’s a simple, painless 5 step procedure:

  1. Clean the teeth to make sure there’s no food or debris where we need to place the attachments.
  2. Shampoo (etch) the tooth surface.
  3. Add a conditioning layer (bond) to allow the composite to stick to the tooth.
  4. Add the attachments using composite.
  5. Set with the blue light.

Voila!

How do you care for the Invisalign attachments at home?

photo of a tooth brush to demo invisalign attachment cleaning

You need to treat them no differently to your teeth.

Brush completely as normal, ensuring you clean around Invisalign attachments as well as your teeth. And floss daily.

Occasionally, attachments can stain around the edges. It’s annoying but it’s not really a problem, and once they’re removed the staining will go away.

Limit foods which can stain to avoid this, such as red wine, curry and coffee.

Smoking also can cause staining around the margins of the attachments, as well as darken the Invisalign trays.

What happens if an attachment falls off?

Don’t panic.

There’s a lot of strain on these little buttons of composite and it happens.

You need to continue to wear your tray as normal and call your dentist, who will easily replace it. Your tooth without the Invisalign attachment will not relapse, but it won’t move either.

If you can’t get an appointment for a few days, it might mean wearing that tray for a bit longer. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not a problem.

And you can bin the lost attachment. It’s no good to us anymore.

How do we remove Invisalign attachments when you’re finished?

Invisalign attachments are removed as easily as they’re placed.

Your dentist will use a water polisher to smooth them down.

They’ll be smoothed down until they are no longer raised bumps on your teeth and polished off.

You’ll never know.

Finally…

Invisalign attachments are a wonderful way to speed up your teeth straightening and improve the final result. Given the choice I’d recommend you always opt to include them in your treatment.


AUTHOR

Dr Gareth Edwards Dentist AuthorDr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg) qualified as a dentist with honours. Now practicing in the Bournemouth & Poole area, he has a keen interest in orthodontics and is a certified Invisalign and Six Month Smiles provider.

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