Understanding Invisalign Attachments: Everything You Need to Know
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With the advent of Invisalign technology, straightening teeth has become quite convenient and more comfortable. This orthodontic treatment corrects bad bites and crooked teeth using a series of removable, “invisible” aligners, which are replaced every two weeks.
Each of these Invisalign aligners is purposely designed to be ill-fitting. It may feel too tight or snug and may even be difficult to put in and remove at times. That is because aligners are not created to fit your teeth. Rather, it is shaped to fit your teeth’s expected alignment after each phase.
As compared to traditional wires and brackets, Invisalign has many advantages. For one, the fact that these aligners can be removed at any time as desired poses obvious leverage. Because it can be removed, brushing, flossing and keeping your mouth healthy becomes easier.
Aside from being removable, Invisalign does not give a significant level of discomfort when worn. This is because the increment movement the aligners make is too minimal to cause serious pain or discomfort.
However, despite the new and entirely different procedure, Invisalign uses the same orthodontic techniques as traditional braces. Invisalign attachments are just among them.
What are Invisalign Attachments?
Invisalign attachments are small, tooth-colored bumps of dental bonding material attached to the teeth. Also called Invisalign buttons, they are virtually invisible and designed to blend in with natural teeth, making them discreet and unnoticeable to others.
Attachments are custom-made for each patient and are strategically placed in specific locations on the teeth. They provide a grip or handle for the clear aligner trays to push or pull on, allowing them to gradually apply the necessary force to move the teeth.
They do not necessarily come with every Invisalign treatment, but some patients must use them. They are also available in various shapes, including circular, rectangular, square, and triangular. Your dentist will determine what kind of attachment your teeth need to fix alignment issues.
How Do Invisalign Attachments Work?
Compared to its predecessors, the Invisalign system is simpler, requiring only a single set of photographs and impressions of the teeth taken during the initial consultation.
These impressions are sent to the Invisalign factory, where the clear orthodontic appliance is fabricated. A three-dimensional computer projection of how the teeth will be moved is developed based on the impressions to ensure that the series of customized aligners fit perfectly. Once the treatment plan is approved, a plastic resin aligner is created for each simulation.
An Invisalign attachment is the anchor point that helps direct the aligner’s force for more efficient tooth movement. They are usually put in the middle of the tooth, making it easier for your aligners to stay in place. But since the attachments click into your aligners in specific places, you’ll find that having Invisalign attachments can make it a little harder to put in and remove your trays.
The orthodontist will dispense the aligners in groups of one or two during regular check-up appointments to ensure that each treatment phase is properly monitored and managed. These clear aligners must be worn in a specific order for about two weeks. During this time, the appliances move the teeth incrementally for about .25 to .33 millimeters into place. Although they can be removed when you are drinking certain beverages, eating, brushing and flossing, orthodontists recommend that these appliances must be worn for no less than 20 hours a day. This ensures the success of the repositioning of the teeth.
In a typical treatment plan, a patient will require 20 to 30 clear orthodontic aligners for both their upper and lower teeth to achieve desired results. While most adult patients complete the treatment in about a year, Invisalign treatment time would still vary and would depend on the extent of the alignment problem.
What is Invisalign Used for?
Some tooth changes are hard to accomplish with removable aligners as their movements would not occur with the clear aligner pushing the teeth on its own. It may be because of the angulation or the shape of the teeth that make it difficult for the appliance to put pressure on them. To resolve such issues, the dentist places Invisalign attachments on the teeth to provide anchor points that help direct pressure from the aligner to the teeth.
An Invisalign attachment is bonded on the tooth using a composite resin and is easily removed by a polishing tool. This will neither do any damage to your teeth nor cause any pain. Depending on their specific location and the composite bonding material’s shade, these Invisalign buttons may be more or less obvious.
Invisalign treatments do not always require Invisalign attachments. With the help of an Invisalign treatment simulation, your dentist can tell if any phase of your treatment will need Invisalign attachment placements.
What Do Invisalign Attachments Treat?
Invisalign buttons are for teenagers and adults with a completely erupted set of permanent teeth which can follow treatment recommendations faithfully. The treatment’s success may be compromised if the prescribed plan and recommendations are not met. However, if done as directed, Invisalign can correct dental issues, including:
Too much gaps between teeth are often caused by the abnormal growth of the jaw. Also, if there is extra space in the jaw because of missing teeth, the rest of the teeth may tend to shift, creating gaps between them. This dental problem can lead to more severe problems, such as periodontal pockets and other gum problems.
While spaced teeth occur when there is more than enough room in the jaw for the teeth, crowded teeth happen when there is inadequate space in the jaw for all your teeth to fit normally. If this problem is neglected, it can worsen and lead to decayed teeth, plaque buildup, and gum disease.
This mild problem results from misaligned upper and lower jaws. When your jaws are misaligned, it causes the front, sides, or both of those parts of the upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth. An untreated crossbite can lead to periodontal problems like bone loss, gum disease, and abnormal tooth chipping and wearing.
This occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower ones. Commonly, overbite is caused by poor oral habits, overdevelopment of the jaw bone, or genetics. If left untreated, an overbite can lead to fractured or chipped teeth and gum disease.
Because of lower jaw overgrowth, or upper jaw undergrowth, the lower teeth extend past the front upper teeth, resulting in an underbite. This particular dental problem can cause sore jaw and joints.
There are certain cases where Invisalign may not be the ideal dental solution. In cases like complex malocclusions, traditional braces may be your next bet. Consult your dentist to determine which option is right for you.
Do Invisalign Attachments Damage Teeth?
Invisalign attachments themselves are unlikely to damage your teeth. They are typically made of dental bonding material that is safe and gentle on your teeth. The attachment placement process involves etching the surface of the teeth, which can create small grooves, but this is generally minimal and doesn’t cause any harm to your teeth.
However, it’s worth noting that Invisalign treatment may cause temporary discomfort or sensitivity, as with any orthodontic treatment. Some patients may experience slight soreness or tenderness in the teeth and gums after getting Invisalign buttons or changing aligner trays. However, this discomfort is typically temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
Perhaps the most popular alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign can effectively straighten teeth and prevent oral health issues. But is it a wiser and less expensive choice than getting conventional braces? Exactly how much is Invisalign?
It is essential to keep in mind that Invisalign’s cost will vary from case to case, depending on the complexity of the dental problem, the number of aligner trays that will be used throughout the treatment, your orthodontist, and your dental insurance coverage.
A typical Invisalign treatment may only require around $1,800 for simpler cases, while complex dental issues can cost as much as $10,000. But on average, Invisalign cost is comparable to conventional braces, with a price starting at about $5,000. Since the cost will depend on your specific needs and specialized treatment plan, only your orthodontist can determine the actual Invisalign cost.
Although Invisalign and other orthodontic treatments fall under cosmetic dentistry, many dental insurance providers offer to cover their costs. If you have a dental insurance plan, your insurance provider may help you decide what orthodontic benefits you may qualify for. Otherwise, your orthodontist can offer financing options. Many orthodontists provide affordable monthly payments with no interest and no down payment.
Factors That Affect Invisalign Cost
As earlier mentioned, both braces and Invisalign may cost about the same. However, there may be more to Invisalign that makes it a more practical treatment choice than braces.
There is no doubt that a smooth, clear plastic resin is way better than metal wires and brackets when it comes to comfort. Traditional braces may cut your gums and cause inflammation, whereas Invisalign causes no complications.
Invisalign treatments require fewer visits to and scheduled appointments with the dentist. Typically, you only need to see your orthodontist every four to six weeks throughout the treatment.
Invisalign is way easier to clean and maintain. Because a clear orthodontic aligner can be easily removed when eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing, you will not need to stress about food getting stuck between your teeth or in the wires and brackets of traditional braces.
The cost of Invisalign treatment with just the aligners can range from $3,000 to $6,000. Adding attachments will increase the price some more. While you may decide against Invisalign attachments, professionals don’t recommend that you do so. There’s a reason why your dentist included them in your treatment plan. Without the buttons, your teeth might not move as quickly or effectively. It will take longer to complete treatment, which will drive up costs.
What’s More Expensive: Braces vs. Invisalign?
When it comes to comparing the cost of braces vs. Invisalign, the answer isn’t always straightforward. Several factors influence the overall cost of orthodontic treatment, including the severity of the case, the duration of the treatment, and the type of treatment method used.
In general, traditional metal braces are typically less expensive than Invisalign. The average cost of metal braces ranges from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the patient’s case. In contrast, Invisalign typically costs between $1,800 and $10,000.
However, the cost of Invisalign can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case and the length of treatment required. Invisalign is often more expensive than braces in cases where a significant amount of dental work is needed, such as tooth extractions or jaw realignment.
Are the Invisalign Attachments Noticeable?
At Dental Studio 101, we make every effort to ensure that our patient’s Invisalign attachments look as much like their real teeth as possible. But there may be instances where they are slightly obvious, especially if the attachments are on your front teeth. Still, you can’t deny that Invisalign aligners and attachments are much more discreet than standard metal braces.
How Can I Get Invisalign?
Getting Invisalign is a decision that should be carefully weighed against other dental treatment options that may be ideal for your condition. Remember that Invisalign is not for everyone. A different treatment option might be recommended if your issues go beyond mild dental problems.
That being said, scheduling a consultation with your orthodontist would be a wise and logical step. With the assistance of your orthodontist, you may go over the treatment recommendations and your personal goals to assess which dental procedure would work best for you.
Different dentists may have varied pricing, recommendations and patient interaction. So, it is paramount to find one you feel most comfortable with. If you are ready to straighten your teeth, contact Dental Studio 101 for a consultation.
Choosing the Right Invisalign Dentist
As Invisalign continues to gain immense popularity, more and more dentists are becoming Invisalign providers, including general dental practitioners. While this may work out for some people, other patients have problems.
Below are some things to consider when choosing an Invisalign dentist:
Remember that not all Invisalign dentists are orthodontists; some are general dentists. Since Invisalign is an orthodontic procedure for straightening teeth, it may be a more prudent choice to have an orthodontist handle your case. Orthodontics is a specialization that requires additional years of training and certification.
When working with each patient, a good and experienced orthodontist has a wealth of expertise and knowledge to draw from. On the other hand, an Invisalign dentist is a general practitioner who does not have the same set of skills and specialized training an orthodontist has.
The Invisalign system is indeed a notably easy way to straighten teeth. However, it may not be ideal for everyone. Although orthodontists and general dentists undergo a one-day certification course to be accredited Invisalign providers, some dental professionals do not have the expertise or knowledge base when the treatment plan is not going as anticipated. Qualified orthodontists, on the contrary, do.
So if, for instance, the plan does not progress as expected, these dentists will then refer their patients to an orthodontist for corrections. That is why it is wiser to start off the treatment with an Invisalign dentist who is also an orthodontist. Aside from that, you save time and money and save yourself a load of stress in the process.
Familiarity with the Technology
Getting Invisalign is a major decision to consider. Hence, aside from specialization and good rapport, you should also look into the Invisalign dentist’s experience with the system. Align Technology has three levels of Invisalign provider status, namely:
- Preferred: Invisalign dentists that fall under this roof are typically rookies. They treat about ten or more patients each year.
- Premier: A Premier Invisalign dentist has treated more than 50 patients in total and treats about 25 patients bi-annually.
- Elite: Elite providers are the ones who have been working with Invisalign for a long time. In total, they have treated at least 300 and continue treating about 50 more patients every six months.
Finally, always remember to investigate further. While experience and quantity are vital factors, treatment outcomes are equally important. Do your homework, and do not make assumptions. Meet with several Invisalign dentists and check for reviews about them online.
Recommended Care Instructions for Invisalign Attachments
Invisalign attachments are essential to the treatment process, and proper care is necessary to ensure effective results. So, how can you ensure that your Invisalign treatment stays on track and that your attachments remain in excellent condition? Here are some helpful tips:
It is important to clean your aligner trays and attachments before putting them back in your mouth. To clean your Invisalign brackets and attachments, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to gently brush the attachments and aligner trays. You can also use an Invisalign cleaning solution or soak them in warm water with a denture cleaner.
Foods to Avoid
While undergoing Invisalign treatment, you must be cautious of the foods you consume. Some foods can get stuck in the attachments, which can cause discomfort and hinder your treatment progress. Sticky, chewy, or hard foods, such as gum, caramel, popcorn, or nuts, should be avoided. Drinking sugary or acidic beverages like soda, juice, or coffee can also stain and damage your aligner trays.
Replacement and Removal
Invisalign attachments are durable but can wear out over time or become damaged due to accidents or improper care. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or chips, contact your dentist immediately to schedule an appointment for replacement. Removing your attachments should only be done by a dental professional during your regular Invisalign appointments. Attempting to remove them yourself can damage your teeth or aligner trays and may delay your treatment progress.
Get Straighter Teeth with Invisalign Attachments
The popularity of Invisalign as an effective teeth-straightening option continues to rise. And with attachments, people with complex teeth alignment problems can now use Invisalign to straighten their teeth instead of resorting to braces.
If you live in Scottsdale or North Scottsdale, AZ, stop by Dental Studio 101’s state-of-the-art dental spa or contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our cosmetic dentists to find out if Invisalign with attachments is the right treatment for you.
We are committed to understanding each patient’s unique cosmetic dental care requirements and delivering individualized treatment plans to achieve the best results.
Begin your journey to a more dazzling smile. Contact Dental Studio 101 today!