How Invisalign Attachments are placed?

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Hello, I am Dr. Peter Wong in today’s article we’re going to be talking about invisalign attachments and invisalign buttons. So, you may already be having invisalign treatment and your dentist may have suggested for you to have these attachments or buttons placed. But why do you actually need them? Traditionally when invisalign first came out, it was really meant for only cases where the teeth were only very slightly crooked and if you had a lot of severe malocclusion or if your teeth were quite crooked then it was said for you to have traditional braces. However, now more recently with various advancements in invisalign treatment, we can now take on a range of more complex invisalign cases.

So, let’s talk about these invisalign attachments first. These attachments are used when your dentist can’t use only the aligners to straighten your teeth. What these attachments are is that they’re very small pieces of filling material that are bonded directly onto your tooth and once they’re in the right position these attachments are quite good at creating new angles of pressure to direct your teeth specifically in the right place. So, for example, if your teeth are particularly crooked in one area or if you have some crowding where we need to start rotating teeth, then attachments are quite good at redirecting the forces to align your teeth into the correct position. So, a cool kind of situation to help you picture how these attachments work is just to imagine if we wanted to move your tooth down and we wanted to use attachments. We wouldn’t be able to do this with normal retainers because there’s no way that we can get one tooth in particular down just using these clear liner trays. We’d put one of these attachments at the center of the tooth and make your next tray tighter just above where the attachment is. So, really every time you’re placing your invisalign tray in there’s going to be a lot of tightness just under this attachment and then to relieve the pressure your tooth is going to start moving down to lessen the pressure in this area, and if we kind of keep doing this for your next few trays and make it slightly tighter every time. In this area over time we’ll start to see the tooth shift in position and eventually move down to the point where it’s aligned with the teeth next door. That’s basically the principle of how these attachments work and although you kind of wanted to be discreet with your orthodontic treatment with invisalign attachments, it’ll sound like it’ll make your treatment more obvious because these attachments are tooth-colored. It’s often still very difficult to see, only if you’re really close up and looking at a person’s teeth can you really see them. There are also invisalign buttons and these are similar to the attachments that we just spoke about but they kind of have a hook onto them. So, what you can actually do is to use these hooks as anchors and then you can place bands in between the buttons and what we can do with this is correct certain types of maleocclusion like underbites or overbites. Again, these buttons are tooth-colored and they’re not really that noticeable but having invisalign buttons or even invisalign attachments will really help you to make the most out of your invisalign treatment. Initially, it takes a little bit of getting used to perhaps placing your invisalign retainers in your mouth may be a little bit more trickier when you have these attachments or buttons but it’s something that you’ll just get used to quite quickly and it’ll definitely benefit your overall treatment.

Now, something to be careful of is once you have invisalign attachments or buttons sometimes you can develop staining around the invisalign attachments or buttons, so make sure you avoid staining foods. Make sure you keep the area very clean and try and keep your oral hygiene as good as possible.

Do you want to know how to speed up invisalign treatment? Read our expert article here!

Here is also our article on 10 things to know when starting invisalign you may find very useful!