We all want a healthy, beautiful smile. For some people, it took braces to get that perfect smile — a set of brackets, wires, and bands attached to the teeth that gradually reposition crooked teeth into a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing position. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the Invisalign® system emerged as a method of straightening teeth.
The Invisalign plastic aligners perform the same functions as braces while being removable and nearly invisible. However, there are times when the pressure needed to move the teeth in the right direction exceeds any pressure produced by the aligners alone. When that happens, Invisalign attachments are used to apply that additional pressure.
This blog will provide insight into how the Invisalign attachments work with your overall treatment.
What is the Invisalign® Treatment?
At Patuxent Orthodontics, we offer Invisalign as our primary method of straightening teeth. We have helped countless patients achieve results with Invisalign, a more comfortable and versatile orthodontic device than traditional braces. Adults and teens alike are attracted to Invisalign due to its nearly invisible nature.
Following a digital scan of your teeth, multiple sets of aligners gently move your teeth back to their natural positions. Two sets (one top and one bottom aligner) are worn for approximately two weeks. After that, you move on to the next set, which accommodates the movement of your teeth up until that point. Your teeth are then forced further to move by the new set. Eventually, your teeth reach their intended positions with the last set.
Each aligner is worn for 22 hours per day, while the additional two hours are devoted to eating your meals and cleaning your aligners.
What are Invisalign Attachments?
You can improve the alignment of your teeth with our custom-made Invisalign aligners. However, if some of your teeth require more complicated movements, your aligners might need some extra support.
Invisalign attachments are small pieces of tooth-colored dental resin bonded to some of your teeth during Invisalign treatment. By inserting these attachments on top of your aligners, you apply the additional pressure necessary for certain teeth to move in the right direction.
The Invisalign attachments serve as an anchor enabling the aligners to push the teeth into the correct position. At first, wearing Invisalign attachments might be uncomfortable, but you will quickly adapt to wearing the aligners as your teeth gradually adjust to their correct positions.
What are the Invisalign Attachment Types?
Invisalign attachments come in a variety of shapes—circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles—each with a slightly different function. Occasionally, one or more teeth need to rotate a few degrees in addition to moving left or right, and one attachment type is responsible for making that possible. Similarly, other Invisalign attachment types help correct intrusions or extrusions.
Do I Need Invisalign Attachments?
Invisalign attachments are not necessary for everyone. Your orthodontist will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your digital scan and your orthodontic examination before you begin using the Invisalign system. Consequently, you’ll know how many Invisalign attachments you need from the beginning and whether or not they are a part of your Invisalign plan.
Can Invisalign Attachments Stain?
Each Invisalign attachment is made to match the color of your teeth. Keeping with Invisalign’s “invisible” quality, the aligners and attachments are designed to be virtually invisible as well. Stains, however, compromise this quality.
Initially, you’ll wear the aligners for two weeks until you move on to a new set. In other words, if one set is stained, you simply have to deal with it until the next set arrives. Invisalign attachments are attached for the whole duration of the treatment process—you cannot just replace them if they get stained.
Most stains are caused by dark-colored foods and drinks, including coffee, tea, dark soda, red wine, berries, and smoking. You can avoid staining by cutting back on those foods, drinks, and habits or cleaning your teeth immediately after indulging in them. You can also help avoid or manage the possibility of staining by following the manufacturer’s instructions during maintenance.
When Invisalign Attachments Fall Off: What Should I Do?
Invisalign attachments can fall off, although the chances of that happening are slim. In this situation, you need to contact your orthodontist right away to get your Invisalign attachment replaced. Invisalign patients do not want to interrupt their treatment because the attachment provides the necessary pressure to move certain teeth more effectively.
Oral Care with Invisalign Attachments
Eating is a great time to remove your Invisalign aligners, but we can’t say the same about Invisalign attachments, which are bonded to your teeth. Therefore, brush all around them as much as possible to prevent plaque and tartar buildup and staining.
How Expensive are Invisalign Attachments?
Invisalign costs approximately the same as metal braces, usually between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the amount of Invisalign treatment required, the orthodontist, and the office location. Attachments for Invisalign are not sold separately but are included in the treatment plan. You can expect to find them included in more expensive treatments since they are needed for more complicated tooth movements.
If you are concerned about costs, check your insurance for coverage and ask your orthodontist if they offer payment plans.
Start Your Orthodontic Treatment at Patuxent Orthodontics Today!
We all want a healthy, beautiful smile. Invisalign attachments act as tiny, invisible boosters which allow your teeth to move in the “perfect smile” direction.
A tooth may need to do more than simply move to the left or to the right, forward or backward, so the aligners can use attachments to help it accomplish that goal. As long as you take good care of them, they will last throughout your entire Invisalign treatment without becoming stained or falling off!
Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if you think that Invisalign attachments may be a solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of Invisalign attachments or simply have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (240) 802-7217 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free consultation! Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in California, Lexington Park, and Great Mills and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in MD, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health and follow us on social media to become a part of our smiling community!