More teens and adults today prefer Invisalign aligners to get their smiles back. Much more than their reduced visibility is their ability to straighten your teeth to their correct position in no time. What's more? With Invisalign attachments now around, you can be extra secure about your treatment and make it doubly sure your teeth get back on track.
Keep reading if your dentist has said something about attachments and you'd love to find out more about how they work.
What is an Invisalign Attachment?
An Invisalign attachment is a little button used alongside Invisalign aligners to correct and straighten misaligned teeth. "Invisalign" is a company's brand name, while the appliance is generally called a "clear aligner." They help the Invisalign aligner move with more seamlessness and force to shift teeth into their rightful position.
How do Invisalign Attachments Work?
Your dentist uses digital scans and impressions from your teeth to develop a sequence of aligners. Because of your body's adaptability, your teeth conform to the pressure placed on the aligners in weeks or months and shift into better positions. Ideally, you'd wear an aligner for a week or two before changing to the next one in the sequence.
If need be, your dentist might advise using attachments alongside your Invisalign attachment. Attachments help the aligners fix more firmly on your teeth with their small, button-like, and tooth-colored appearance. With an attachment, your teeth straighten up in no time.
Does Every Invisalign Patient Need Attachments?
Attachments aren't meant to be used by everyone with Invisalign. If you're lucky to have a straightforward treatment plan, your Invisalign aligners can work on their own. Dentists examine your teeth before starting any treatment to help with designing your aligners. Impressions, x-rays, and photographs are some tests you might undergo.
Judging by the type of tooth movement your treatment will entail, your dentist will either recommend an attachment or not. Also, if you'd be getting an aligner, not every tooth will need an attachment. Again, your dentist will help you with this.
How are Invisalign Attachments Attached to Your Teeth?
Here are the steps your dentist can use to install Invisalign attachments to your teeth:
- They apply a special gel that the attachment needs to stick better. In a short while, they rinse the gel off your teeth.
- They apply a bonding agent with a small brush, which gives the attachment a firmer grip on your teeth.
- The dentist then employs a template aligner, a device with small spaces that can accommodate the attachment.
- They fill in composite resin, which makes up the attachment material into the spaces.
- With the loaded template aligner over your teeth, your dentist presses the device gently to help the attachments stick properly.
- Next, they harden and solidify the attachment material with a special light.
- Finally, they take off the template aligner and other used materials like the bonding agent.
Following these steps, your dentist can simultaneously apply multiple attachments to your upper and lower teeth. After placing the attachment, your dentist will show you how to fix and take out your aligner.
Are Invisalign Attachments Comfortable?
Getting a new attachment or aligner comes with some discomfort. This comes from the force that your aligner puts on your attachments, through which your teeth are repositioned. Also, you might have some discomfort inside your mouth on removing your aligner if your attachments are new. However, this discomfort eases off with time. Over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol(acetaminophen) would also help greatly in such times.
Are Invisalign Attachments Visible?
Many Invisalign patients come troubled with thoughts of their aligners being visible after fixing attachments. Fortunately, it won't. Thanks to the recent developments in dental technology. Your dentist ensures the colours of your teeth and your attachment match. It blends in perfectly this way. You can be encouraged to put on your trays more frequently!
What are the Risks Involved with Invisalign Attachments?
Asides from the temporary discomfort it brings, getting Invisalign attachments might come with some other complications. Here are a few of them:
Staining and Plaque Growth
Because attachments fix the surface of your teeth, they allow plaque to grow, consequently staining the teeth. This possibility makes it important to clean your teeth properly regularly. The attachments themselves can get discoloured. This happens if they continuously contact dark-coloured liquids like coffee or red wine.
The tiny pockets created by the attachments can also trap particles from food and drink. After a while, the dirt buildup can lead to mineral loss and the formation of cavities in the teeth. However, with regular brushing and flossing, you'd avoid all this.
Tightly-fitted Aligner Attachments
Attachments help to fit your aligner in place properly. However, this fitting may exceed the normal limits sometimes, making it quite difficult to remove.
What Shapes are Invisalign Attachments?
Attachments come in different shapes and sizes. Your dentist would pick the best based on how your aligners have been moving your teeth. A good instance is using square or triangle-shaped attachment to treat tooth rotation.
How Do You Care for Your Teeth with Invisalign Attachments?
Ideally, your Invisalign aligners will be on for about 22 hours daily. But you can take it off to do tasks like brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking anything aside from water. Here are two basic rules to play by when using Invisalign with attachments:
Stick with Your Dentist's Directions
For a first-timer, the discomfort of Invisalign attachments might push one to use them at will. However, because your teeth need an aligner to move efficiently, it'd be best to follow your dentist's guidelines on how long you should wear your aligners and how to clean them.
Take Only Water when Your Aligner is on
The importance of drinking only water when your alignment is on cannot be overemphasized. When liquid is trapped between the aligner and your teeth, mouth bacteria act on the sugar and particles in the liquid, leading to tooth decay.
How are Invisalign Attachments Removed?
At the end of your treatment period, your dentist chips off the material component of the attachment with a small tool. You'd feel some vibration but no pain as he does this.
With Invisalign attachments, your teeth straighten up more quickly. Due to the pressure your aligner places on them, you might experience some discomfort, which will wear off in no time. Hence, it's best to work closely with your dentist to give you the best guidance and support you'd need during this transition period.
If you need more information on Invisalign attachments or would love to speak with a professional dentist with experience installing attachments, our experts at My Smile Orthodontics can be of help.
Published by Samantha Brown