What Are Invisalign Attachments and How Do They Help Straighten Teeth?

Invisalign is an attractive option for many adults and teens who want straight teeth without obvious metal braces. Learn about how attachments work and how they help move teeth into their desired positions.

What Are Invisalign Attachments and How Do They Help Straighten Teeth?

Invisalign is an attractive option for many adults and teens who want straight teeth without obvious metal braces. It's a clear aligner system that uses a series of removable aligners to gradually move teeth into their desired positions. To create push surfaces and notches, orthodontists construct “attachments” or protrusions on teeth using a tooth-colored compound (the same material used to repair chipped teeth). These attachments, also known as buttons, are small tooth-colored “bumps” that are attached to teeth using dental composites.

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

Accessories are small teeth colored teeth that stick to certain teeth during treatment with Invisalign. They are very effective at moving teeth as they act as grips for Invisalign aligners to hold. An Invisalign attachment attaches to the tooth with the use of a composite resin and is easily removed with a polishing tool. This will not cause any damage to the teeth or cause any pain.

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 accessories. Whether or not you will need them depends on your treatment plan. Your dentist will tell you if they 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. Many Invisalign patients get a little help when it comes to the hard work of moving their teeth. Small attachments are temporarily applied to the teeth so that the aligners can fit into place more tightly. Aligners fit snugly over attachments (also known as buttons), helping to keep them in place to move teeth slowly and smoothly to their correct positions.

Since then, technology has continued to evolve and, thanks to accessories and buttons, Invisalign can be used by patients with more severe malocclusions. For all movements, except intrusion (pushing the teeth into the gums), attachments are necessary to create the necessary thrust surfaces and notches. Your dentist can use this process to apply more than one accessory to your upper or lower teeth at the same time. When your Invisalign treatment is complete and your orthodontist is ready to remove the accessories, it's even easier to remove them.

It's important to check if your dental insurance covers Invisalign before starting treatment. To resolve these issues, the dentist places Invisalign attachments on the teeth to provide anchor points that help direct pressure from the aligner to the teeth. They serve as “anchors” to help your Invisalign aligners have a better grip on your teeth and rotate them. Invisalign treatments don't always require Invisalign accessories.

Some tooth changes are difficult to achieve with removable aligners, since their movements would not occur with the clear aligner that pushes the teeth on its own. They don't necessarily come with all Invisalign treatments, but some patients will need to use them. Not only are they less visible than traditional braces, but clear aligners can fix your teeth in less time and are able to handle more advanced cases thanks to Invisalign accessories. As the Consumer Guide to Dentistry points out, Invisalign can cost about the same as traditional braces.

Since the cost will depend on your specific needs and the specialized treatment plan, only your orthodontist can determine the actual cost of Invisalign.

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