Invisalign can help straighten your teeth and correct a misaligned bite. Invisalign is an appliance that’s used for orthodontic treatment. It is a brand name, and this general type of appliance is called a “clear aligner.”
These aligners place pressure on your teeth to move them into their new positions. You typically wear an aligner for 1 to 2 weeks before switching to the next aligner in the sequence.
Sometimes, dentists recommend attachments with aligners like Invisalign. These attachments are small, button-like structures connected directly to your teeth.
Below, we’ll dig deeper into what Invisalign attachments do, who may need them, and more.
What do Invisalign attachments do?
With Invisalign, the shape of the aligner differs from the shape of your teeth — and this forces your teeth to move into their new position.
In some cases, the aligner may need a little help to produce the desired movement. This is where attachments come in. They may be necessary if your treatment requires more complex tooth movement.
Attachments are small, tooth-colored structures that attach to your teeth. They’re made from a type of material called composite resin, the same material used for dental fillings.
Each attachment has a very specific shape that promotes a certain type of movement. Your aligner then pushes on the attachment to help achieve this movement.
Attachments can also anchor your aligner, helping it stay in place over your teeth.
How are Invisalign attachments attached?
Your dentist can apply Invisalign attachments to your teeth using these steps:
- They treat your teeth with a special type of gel that helps the attachment stick.
- After a short wait, they remove the gel and rinse your teeth.
- They use a small brush to apply a bonding agent, which helps secure the attachments to your teeth.
- The dentist then uses a template aligner, an appliance with little spaces where the attachments will go. They load the attachment material (composite resin) into the spaces.
- They place the template aligner, which now contains the attachment material, over your teeth. Then, the dentist applies gentle pressure to help the attachments properly adhere.
- Next, they use a special light to cure and harden the attachment material.
- Finally, they remove the template aligner and any extra bonding agent or composite resin.
Read more about: What Are Invisalign Attachments, and How Are They Used?
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