Do I Need Invisalign Attachments? An Expert's Guide

Do you need Invisalign attachments to straighten your teeth? It's a common question for those considering Invisalign treatment. The answer depends on your specific treatment plan. In some cases, Invisalign aligners can do all the alignment work on their own, and no attachments are needed. But in other cases, small, tooth-colored “bumps” called attachments are used to help the aligners move teeth to their correct positions.

Invisalign attachments are small pieces of composite filling material that are attached to certain teeth during treatment with invisible braces. They act as grips for the aligners to hold, helping to keep them in place and slowly and smoothly move teeth to their correct positions. Depending on your specific location and the shade of the composite bonding material used, these Invisalign accessories may be more or less obvious. Not everyone with Invisalign needs attachments. Whether you need them depends on your treatment plan.

Your dentist will tell you if it should be part of your treatment plan. With the help of an Invisalign treatment simulation, your dentist will be able to determine if any phase of your treatment will require the placement of Invisalign accessories. 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. Invisalign treatments don't always require Invisalign accessories.

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. 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. Without attachments, only the force of the aligner trays moves the teeth, which is insufficient for certain orthodontic needs. An experienced Invisalign provider should be able to determine which of your teeth would likely need accessories. And while Invisalign still can't solve all cases of crooked teeth, treatment has evolved and developed to address more serious cases. Traditional braces can cut gums and cause inflammation, while Invisalign does not cause such complications.

Once treatment with Invisalign is finished, these small bumps are removed by simply polishing them off the surface of your tooth. 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. Also, be sure to ask your dentist if they offer a payment plan that will help you cover the costs of Invisalign.