Everyone wants a perfect, healthy smile. For some people, getting that smile meant wearing metal braces—a set of brackets, wires, and bands attached to the teeth that gradually move misaligned teeth into a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing configuration. The late 90s ushered in the next generation of devices delivering straight teeth—the Invisalign® system.
Invisalign uses plastic aligners to do the same job as braces while being removable and nearly invisible. In some cases, the pressure needed to move the teeth in the right direction is more than what the aligners alone can produce. That is when Invisalign attachments are added with the purpose of providing that extra pressure.
Today’s blog will provide insights into the Invisalign attachments and their role in your overall Invisalign treatment.
What Is the Invisalign® Treatment?
At Loudoun Orthodontics, Invisalign is the primary treatment for patients who seek straight teeth. Our Invisalign experience has helped countless patients leave our office wearing a more comfortable and versatile orthodontic device than traditional braces. Their nearly invisible trait is most appealing to adults and teens.
Based on a digital scan of your teeth, several sets of aligners slowly pressure your teeth to move to more natural locations. You wear each set (one top and one bottom aligner) for about two weeks. You then switch to the next set, which is configured to accommodate the movement of your teeth to that point. The new set takes over and pressures your teeth to move further. Eventually, with the last set, your teeth reach the planned positions.
You wear the aligners for 22 hours per day, while the additional two hours are reserved for meals and cleaning the aligners.
What Are Invisalign Attachments?
Invisalign aligners are custom-made to give your teeth a push in the right direction. But if some of your teeth require more complicated movements, your aligners will need extra support.
Enter Invisalign attachments! These small pieces of tooth-colored dental resin are bonded to some of your teeth. When you insert your aligner on top of them, the Invisalign attachments provide additional pressure needed to achieve the movement required for certain teeth.
Invisalign attachments act as an anchor against which the aligner can push the tooth or teeth in the correct direction. Wearing Invisalign attachments may be uncomfortable at first, but you will quickly adjust as your teeth are gradually coaxed into the desired positions.
What Are the Invisalign Attachment Types?
Invisalign attachments vary in shape. Circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles each have their own functions in the Invisalign treatment system. In addition to moving to the left or right, it may be necessary, for example, for one or more teeth to rotate a few degrees, and one attachment type helps make that particular movement happen. Other types, for example, help correct intrusions or extrusions.
Do I Need Invisalign Attachments?
Not everyone needs Invisalign attachments. Before you start using the Invisalign system, your orthodontist will develop a personalized treatment plan based on their examination of your teeth and your digital scan. Therefore, you will know from the beginning whether Invisalign attachments will be a part of your plan and the extent of what you will need.
Can Invisalign Attachments Stain?
Invisalign attachments are made to match the color of your teeth. True to the “invisible” quality of Invisalign, the aligners and attachments are meant to go unnoticed. But you lose that quality if the attachments get stained.
You will wear the aligners for about two weeks, then start a new set. So if one set gets stained, you’ll only have to deal with it until you’re ready for the next set. But Invisalign attachments stay on for the duration of entire Invisalign treatments—you can’t just pop on a new set if they get stained.
Dark-colored foods and drinks are the perpetrators of most stains, alongside coffee, tea, dark sodas, red wine, berries, smoking, and vaping. Avoid stains by cutting down on these foods and habits, or clean your teeth immediately afterward. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions can help avoid or manage the problem.
When Invisalign Attachments Fall Off: What Should I Do?
It only happens once in a blue moon, but Invisalign attachments can fall off. In this case, contact your orthodontist right away and schedule an appointment to get it replaced. You don’t want any interruption in your Invisalign treatment since certain teeth will not move properly without the added pressure the attachment provides.
Oral Care with Invisalign Attachments
You can remove aligners while you eat. You can’t do the same with Invisalign attachment, as they are bonded to your teeth. They create an additional surface around which food debris and plaque can build up. So be sure to spend a little extra time brushing around them. This will also help prevent staining.
How Expensive Are Invisalign Attachments?
The overall cost of Invisalign is similar to metal braces, usually between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the extent of Invisalign treatment needed, the orthodontist, and location. Invisalign attachments aren’t sold separately but are a part of the treatment plan. Because they are needed for more complicated tooth movements, you can assume they will be included in higher-priced treatments.
If cost is a concern, check your insurance for coverage and ask your orthodontist if they offer payment plans.
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Start Your Orthodontic Treatment at Loudoun Orthodontics Today!
Everyone wants a perfect, healthy smile. Invisalign attachments are small, invisible boosters that keep your teeth moving in the right direction to achieve that perfect smile. They can play an essential role in reaching your orthodontic goals.
When a tooth needs to do something more than moving to the left or right, forward or backward, attachments help the aligners accomplish that goal. With proper care, they will last through your entire Invisalign treatment without stains or falling off!
At Loudoun Orthodontics, we specialize in Invisalign treatments. Contact us for a consultation and a plan to put you on the road to that ideal smile. 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!