To protect against cavities, a family dentist may recommend getting dental sealants. Tooth decay remains one of the most common conditions among children in the United States, which makes it a cause for concern for parents. Regular brushing, flossing and dental appointments are effective for preventing cavities. However, these preventative measures are sometimes not enough…
What Are Invisalign Attachments?
Tooth alignment technology has made huge strides in the past few decades, with Invisalign® leading the pack. Usually, alignment devices are personally shaped to fit the mouth of each wearer and can be removed fully. However, sometimes the teeth of a person may be so severely misaligned that extra steps are necessary. Invisalign® attachments have been developed to assist in providing the additional force and redirection needed for tricky alignment needs.
Just as there is a wide variety of teeth alignments from one person to the next, there is also variety when it comes to tooth alignment systems. Attachments are designed to give extra help to those whose teeth are uniquely out of line.
Why would a person need the attachments?
Certain teeth may be positioned at contradictory angles, thereby requiring rotation or more extreme movement than other teeth in the mouth. The attachments allow the Invisalign® technician to focus on a particular area of the teeth to correctly and efficiently bring certain teeth in line. Consider the attachment as an anchor for the tooth and the device.
How do the attachments work?
The attachments are formed from tiny amounts of proprietary SmartForce material, which is attached to the teeth of the wearer either before or in the middle of treatment. They are not always attached to every tooth; instead, they are usually attached just to the teeth that are in need of the most extreme realignment. The attachments help the aligner grip the teeth, making all the teeth come together in a more comfortable way than traditional metal braces do.
What do the attachments look like?
The developers at Invisalign® know the importance of maintaining a visually clear effect during teeth straightening procedures. For this reason, the attachments are colored to look like the teeth to which they are attached. For example, if the wearer chooses to remove the realignment device for special occasion photographs, then it should not be obvious that the attachments are present on the teeth.
How big are the attachments?
It depends on the shape of the attachment, but in general, they are smaller than the teeth. This small size has been determined to be large enough to assist the Invisalign® device in realigning the teeth, while still remaining unobtrusive to the wearer. Sometimes, the attachments can be shaped like rectangles, squares, circles or triangles, depending on the function they will perform in the mouth.
Does it take long for the attachments to be fitted?
No, it should not take a trained technician long at all to fit the attachments to the teeth. The company's developers have created a template to help with fitting. A small dot of composite bonding is used to affix the attachment, so the whole process only takes as long as the time required to identify the place to put the attachment, set it in place and then wait for it to cure.
For those who need them, Invisalign® attachments make an easy and comfortable way for teeth to be straightened. Once the teeth are deemed to be aligned correctly, the attachments can be easily buffed off of the teeth like they were never there in the first place.
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