If you wear Invisalign or are about to become an Invisalign patient at your Hampton, NH, dentist, you’ve heard about Invisalign attachments. These small “dots” are bonded to your teeth with an important purpose – to serve as small anchors for your Invisalign trays so teeth are moved as effectively as possible. Understanding why you need attachments and how they work will make it easier to accept these tiny foreign objects that are semi-permanently stuck to your teeth.

Size and shape will vary.

You will not have 10 square attachments on your upper front teeth. More likely, you’ll have one square, one triangle, two octagons, a few rectangles, and maybe a circle, in various positions on your teeth. This reads like an arbitrary list, but your personal attachments will be carefully selected for their moving power. Rest assured, placement and design are all quite purposeful.

Location will also vary.

A tidy row of attachments is unlikely. Your Hampton dentist will place them in what seem like unexpected spots on your teeth but their destination is strategic. Many attachments can be found near the center of a tooth, but it will depend on how much a tooth needs to move and in what direction, especially if tooth rotation is necessary. Attachments could be up high, near the cusp, or anywhere in between.

They are designed to blend in.

Attachments are made of either dental bonding material or composite resin, which means they’re tooth-colored and designed to blend in with your smile rather than stick out. While the dots are discreet and do not draw much attention to themselves in general, they are not completely invisible because they’re 3D. If your trays are out of your mouth, those funky little shapes will be noticeable. If your trays are in, small bumps in the aligners will be noticeable because they were made to accommodate the attachments.

Every tooth does not need an attachment.

Attachments are only placed on teeth where they will be most effective. Your need for attachments will be determined at the start, when your customized treatment plan is being designed, so you’ll know right away if they are in your future. Some patients will have close to two dozen attachments, others will have far fewer, some won’t have any at all. The goal is to force the tooth root and crown into position as effectively and efficiently as possible and attachments helps get that work done so you can complete your Invisalign treatment within a year.

Try to be patient about attachments.

You’ll probably get a little annoyed with your attachments, especially when your trays are out of your mouth and you run your tongue over your teeth. It can also be a bit of a hassle to get the trays over your teeth and attachments just so. Remember too that these dots must be cleaned carefully so food and bacteria do not collect on them and lead to discoloration.

Just keep in mind that attachments are not permanent – they will be buffed away before you know it, leaving straight teeth in their wake. Contact Smiles by the Sea to schedule a consultation with Dr. Harbpinder Shevchenko and her team in Hampton, NH, to find out if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign.