Understanding Invisalign attachment types is an important part of your treatment process. As Invisalign becomes an increasingly popular method for correcting alignment issues, more and more patients are seeking this quick and virtually painless treatment option.
But what are attachments for Invisalign? Though you’ve probably heard about Invisalign aligners, this may be the first time you’re hearing about Invisalign attachments (sometimes called Invisalign anchors).
Though small, Invisalign attachments can have a significant impact on the success of your overall treatment. If you opt for Invisalign, you’ll want to learn everything you can about Invisalign attachment types—and we’re here to share our knowledge.
We’ll break down some of the most commonly asked questions orthodontists get about Invisalign attachments, like:
- What are attachments for Invisalign?
- What do Invisalign attachments do?
- What are Invisalign buttons?
- How many Invisalign attachment types are there?
- How do Invisalign attachments work?
- Can I wear Invisalign without attachments?
- How can Invisalign buttons improve my treatment success?
Keep reading to learn all about Invisalign anchors and why orthodontists use them.
What Is Invisalign?
Before we talk about Invisalign with buttons, let’s answer a basic question: What is Invisalign?
A popular method of orthodontic treatment, Invisalign uses a progressive series of clear trays to correct alignment issues. Your orthodontist creates an alignment plan and then sets you up with aligners that fit snugly over your teeth (though they must be removed for eating and brushing.)
Invisalign’s popularity has exploded in recent years because it offers lots of benefits that you don’t get with traditional metal braces, including:
- A nearly invisible treatment
- Fewer dietary restrictions than traditional braces
- Removable aligners for brushing and eating
- A non-invasive experience
One reason Invisalign is so effective is that the aligners can work in tandem with Invisalign buttons—also called Invisalign anchors.
Let’s take a closer look at how Invisalign attachments work, why you may need them, and the types of Invisalign attachments available.
What Are Invisalign Attachments? And What Do Invisalign Attachments Do?
Traditional Invisalign treatments require patients to simply wear their aligners for the prescribed amount of time each day. Pretty straightforward!
But recent advances in Invisalign technology, specifically Invisalign aligner attachments, help orthodontists treat more serious alignment issues that only traditional braces could previously fix.
So, what are Invisalign attachments?
They’re small, tooth-colored bumps that your orthodontist bonds to your teeth in very strategic places. The trays then snap over the top of the attachments to create an extra area for the aligners to grab onto and push on, which boosts the effectiveness of clear aligners and allows them to fix more severe issues.
What Are Invisalign Buttons?
When it comes to Invisalign attachments and Invisalign buttons, the general public often uses them interchangeably. However, they’re two different tools that orthodontists use for two different purposes.
We just talked about Invisalign attachments in the previous point, so what are Invisalign buttons?
Like Invisalign attachments, Invisalign buttons are tooth-colored bumps that an orthodontist bonds to your tooth/teeth. But unlike attachments, Invisalign trays don’t cover the attachments. Instead, aligners curve around buttons.
Invisalign buttons aren’t covered by the trays because they’re used when a patient needs rubber bands to fix jaw issues, like overbites and underbites. The rubber bands attach to buttons on the top and bottom teeth.
Note: Though we just explained the difference between attachments and buttons, we’ll use the terms interchangeably throughout the rest of the article to simply describe any tooth-colored bump placed on a tooth during an Invisalign treatment.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Invisalign Attachments?
While you can get a straight, healthy smile wearing Invisalign without attachments, Invisalign with attachments offer a number of benefits:
- Improved alignment success. Invisalign attachments help provide the extra force needed for the aligners to make the proper corrections to your smile.
- Precise tooth movement. By using Invisalign attachments in specific places, your orthodontist can move teeth into their correct position with even more precision.
- Reduced treatment time. Invisalign attachments can speed up the treatment process thanks to the extra force.
- Customizable treatment. Your orthodontist can use attachments of varying shapes to customize your treatment so it meets your needs.
Using Invisalign attachments can improve your overall treatment experience and help you get the results you’re looking for.
How Are Invisalign Attachments and Buttons Placed?
Your orthodontist bonds Invisalign buttons and attachments to your teeth to provide the extra force needed for the clear aligners to make the proper corrections to your smile.
Depending on your needs, your orthodontist will place the Invisalign attachments in strategic spots. (There are a few different Invisalign attachment types available, which we’ll discuss in a bit.)
Your orthodontist can also explain why each of the Invisalign buttons or attachments will help your specific orthodontic issues.
However, these attachments or buttons aren’t permanent. Once you no longer need them for your treatment, your orthodontist will remove them without any harm to your natural teeth.
What Do I Need To Know About Invisalign Attachments?
If your orthodontist recommends Invisalign and Invisalign attachments as part of your treatment, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Not Every Patient Or Every Tooth Needs Invisalign Attachments
While Invisalign attachments can help treat a wide range of orthodontic issues and are beneficial in many cases, they’re not always necessary. Some teeth might require attachments; some teeth might not.
Your orthodontist will help you determine if Invisalign buttons are a good fit for you.
2. Invisalign Attachments Come In Different Shapes And Sizes
There are many different types of Invisalign attachments. They come in a variety of shapes, from square and circular to triangular. Your orthodontist will determine the best Invisalign buttons for your teeth based on the desired treatment result.
No matter what type of Invisalign attachment your orthodontist uses, the goal is always for the attachments to put pressure in the most effective places to correct alignment and other orthodontic issues.
3. Dental Hygiene Matters With Invisalign Attachments
Just like with traditional braces, it’s crucial to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth regularly when you have Invisalign attachments!
While you can easily remove your Invisalign aligners for a thorough cleaning, Invisalign buttons and attachments are affixed to your teeth and can be more prone to trapping food and particles. Make sure you use a good toothbrush and toothpaste, and brush in a circular motion around the attachments after meals.
4. Wear Your Invisalign Aligners Properly
Your orthodontist strategically places the Invisalign attachments and molds the aligners accordingly. If you don’t wear your aligners properly, the attachments won’t provide the correct force, and the aligners won’t be as effective.
So, it’s important to always wear your aligners according to your orthodontist’s instructions!
Learn More About Invisalign And Invisalign Attachment Types With Bates Orthodontics
Invisalign is a great way to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you want – and using Invisalign buttons or attachments may be necessary depending on your treatment needs.
There are many benefits to using Invisalign attachments, including:
- Improved smile outcomes
- More precise movement
- Reduced overall treatment time
- The ability to fix more severe alignment issues
If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign, Invisalign attachment types, and the benefits of Invisalign, contact our team at Bates Orthodontics today. We’d love to answer your questions and help you get started on your journey to a smile you can be proud of. As a Diamond Invisalign Provider (top 1% of all providers in the nation!) in Richmond, Virginia, we’re here to give you the best possible care.
Schedule a free consultation to get started on your journey toward a straighter smile today!