What are Invisalign Attachments?

By November 17, 2020 April 13th, 2021 News + Updates

It’s safe to say that if you’ve considered orthodontic treatment, you’ve heard of Invisalign. It’s one of the leading teeth straightening systems on the market for good reason. Invisalign’s custom clear aligners are made using state-of-the-art technology to give patients the most beautiful smiles possible. No bulky brackets or uncomfortable wires — just smooth, comfy aligners that fit perfectly over your teeth. At Carolina Oaks, Invisalign is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those who want a straighter smile.

Invisalign technology has evolved over the years, consistently improving to provide even more accurate results. While Invisalign used to only be available for patients with mild misalignments, the introduction of Invisalign attachments has made the system more widely accessible for those with even complicated cases.

What are Invisalign attachments anyway and how do they work? We’re glad you asked! Here, your Upstate South Carolina orthodontists answer all your questions about Invisalign attachments.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Before you can understand what Invisalign attachments are, we first need to explain how Invisalign works in the first place. It’s a high-tech process that uses a lot of fancy machinery, but it’s actually incredibly simple when you break it down. First, you meet with your orthodontist for a complimentary consultation so we can get a better idea of what needs to be done to correct your bite. We take digital impressions and create a 3D model of your mouth that we then use to plan out your tooth movements.

Once we’ve created a virtual treatment plan, we send it off to Invisalign where their experts create your custom aligners according to our prescription. You wear each set of aligners for about one to two weeks, with each set incrementally taking you one step closer to your final smile. Your teeth move little by little, week by week, until voila! You have a perfect, straight smile you’re proud of.

What are Invisalign Attachments?

So what are those little knobs that some Invisalign patients have on their teeth? For some patients, aligners alone don’t provide enough force to get the teeth where we want them to go, so we need to add a little extra oomph using Invisalign SmartForce attachments. These little tooth-colored bumps are bonded to the teeth and act as handles for your aligners to grip onto. The attachments are strategically placed on certain teeth in specific positions to give you the best possible outcome.

Depending on your diagnosis, your Upstate South Carolina orthodontist may also recommend the use of buttons and elastics. Buttons are another type of Invisalign attachment that function as anchor points for rubber bands (similar to the rubber bands often used with braces). Just like with braces, the elastics put a little extra pressure on the teeth to guide them into the optimal position.

Do I Need Invisalign Attachments?

Not everyone who has Invisalign needs Invisalign attachments. If your treatment plan is pretty straightforward, your aligners should be able to achieve beautiful results on their own. That said, in some cases, the angle or shape of the teeth may make it difficult for aligners to work their magic alone. This is one instance when Invisalign attachments are necessary.

In most cases, though, attachments are used for patients with more complex malocclusions that would otherwise require braces to correct. The bumps and buttons help direct the pressure on your teeth to guide them into place without the need for brackets and wires.

Your orthodontist will use his or her discretion to determine whether you’re a candidate for Invisalign attachments or not. If you do need attachments, don’t worry! They’re virtually invisible and are there for one purpose: to give you the smile you’ve always wanted. The “bumps” are also easily removed with a polishing tool, so there will be no evidence they were ever there once you’re done with treatment.

Have more questions about Invisalign attachments, how they work or why you might need them? Ready to find out how Invisalign can help you get the smile of your dreams? As leading Invisalign providers in Upstate South Carolina, the doctors at Carolina Oaks Orthodontics are here to give you all the information you need to make the best decision for your smile. Contact us to book a free consultation today.