To get a successful result using Invisalign, attachments are often required on some of the teeth. A lot of our patients ask questions about attachments, so we have produced a blog post to help provide some insight on them.
What are Attachments?
Attachments are little translucent buttons that are glued onto the teeth. They come in specific shapes and sizes. The aligners are made to fit over the attachments. It is possible to have attachments on both the front and backs of the teeth.
Are Attachments Permanent?
No. Although attachments are made from the same material that is used for dental fillings, they are only temporary and are removed when treatment is complete.
Are Attachments Noticeable?
Not Really. Firstly, when the aligners are off, attachments are virtually invisible since they are translucent and blend in with the tooth’s natural colour. When the aligners are on, you can often see the outline of the attachments. From close up, the attachment outline may be visible to a perceptive eye, but from 3 feet away they are barely noticeable. Regardless, attachments are WAY more esthetic than even clear braces.
Are Attachments Really Necessary? What Are They For?
Yes. Attachments are integral in achieving a good treatment outcome. Invisalign is not magic. Moving teeth without bracesis challenging and certain force systems need to be in place. With Invisalign, attachments act as the brackets while the aligners act as the archwires. To create certain type of tooth movements, the aligner needs special surfaces (provided by the attachments) to push onto. Without attachments, tooth movements are very limited and one-dimensional.
Who Decides Where to Have Attachments?
The Doctor. Ultimately, deciding where and how to move teeth is the doctor’s responsibility. With braces, the doctor chooses the type of braces and where to place them on the tooth. Invsialign is no different. It takes knowledge of how to move teeth to determine the type, shape, location, and size of the attachments.