Do I Need Attachments for Invisalign Treatment?

Not everyone with Invisalign needs attachments. Whether you need them depends on your treatment plan and the specific characteristics of your case. Before the dentist begins treatment, they will perform an examination to take pictures, x-rays, and impressions of teeth to help design aligners. Attachments are small, tooth-colored “bumps” that are attached to teeth using dental compounds.

They will be placed in precise locations to allow the aligners to grasp the teeth while guiding them to their new locations. Buttons are small accessories used to attach or anchor elastic bands. They can be tooth-colored or metal, depending on location. Metal ones are usually used on the back teeth, since no one will see them.

Even though the procedure is new and completely different, Invisalign uses the same orthodontic techniques as traditional braces. Invisalign attachments are tooth-colored dots that attach at precise locations on specific teeth. Although many are unaware of Invisalign accessories, they are widely used and expand the types of cases that Invisalign can treat. Without attachments, only the force of the aligner trays moves the teeth, which is insufficient for certain orthodontic needs.

When you receive Invisalign accessories, the orthodontist sticks a small piece of composite filling material to the center of the tooth. These protrusions provide an anchor point for your aligners and allow them to exert more orthodontic force on individual teeth and are typically used for extrusion, intrusion, or rotation needs. Many Invisalign patients get a little help when it comes to the hard work of moving their teeth. The small attachments are temporarily applied to the teeth so that the aligners can fit into place more tightly.

Not everyone needs these enamel colored spots during their Invisalign treatment, but if you do, it's important to know how they work and how they affect the course of your treatment plan. Invisalign accessories are designed to help Invisalign correct your smile more quickly. You can think of an Invisalign accessory as a handle for your trays. Basically, these raised protrusions allow Invisalign trays to “hold on” to teeth more effectively, helping to move them into place more quickly and efficiently.

Your orthodontist will carefully select the right size and shape of the attachments, to better move your teeth to the correct positions. Although Invisalign aligners are transparent and are carefully constructed to fit around points, aligners will have protrusions in several places to accommodate accessories. SmartForce accessories are a patented technology designed specifically for use with Invisalign aligners. While closely related, people often confuse accessories with Invisalign buttons, which are small accessories that are placed in the clear trays of the aligner to allow the elastic bands to promote greater strength of the aligner.

Invisalign accessories are best kept on throughout the course of treatment, but in certain cases they can be removed. During your visit for Invisalign treatment, your orthodontist will design your treatment plan and determine if you will need accessories. Your Invisalign accessories will match the color of your teeth and will also be somewhat hidden by your Invisalign trays. If you want to learn more about Invisalign, its accessories and where they are expected to be placed, be sure to talk to your dentist during your initial consultation.

Depending on your specific location and the shade of the composite bonding material used, these Invisalign accessories may be more or less obvious. Invisalign accessories tend to accumulate food debris, so it's important to brush them thoroughly to minimize the buildup of bacteria, plaque, and acid that can cause tooth decay and stains. If you still have questions about Invisalign accessories or wonder if Invisalign is right for your smile, schedule a consultation with Legacy Orthodontics in Leesburg VA's leading provider of Invisalign.