Well, of course you’re attached to your aligners! Clear aligners are a wonderful, inconspicuous option for orthodontic treatment. But we’re talking about 3D attachments—those tiny tooth-colored pieces that are placed on your teeth to make your treatment even more effective.
What are attachments?
Attachments are small ridges made of orthodontic material that are bonded to your teeth. They are tooth-colored, so they blend in well with your enamel, and come in various shapes and sizes depending on their function. Your aligners will fit snugly and smoothly over them.
Why use attachments?
With the assistance of attachments, aligners can also treat more orthodontic conditions. Attachments act like little handles, and matching shapes in your aligner can click into place around them. This allows your aligners to provide gentle directed pressure, making more complex directional tooth movement possible.
Today’s aligners can help turn a rotated tooth, realign a tooth that hasn’t erupted correctly, address a bite problem, and move a tooth with an unusual size, shape, or angle, among other uses. Just as the shape of your aligners is specifically fabricated, the placement of the attachments is carefully planned as well. Computer modeling allows us to give you an attachment that has been customized for a perfect fit to each individual tooth, and perfectly placed to move the tooth where it needs to be.
Each attachment is temporarily bonded to the tooth, and removed after treatment. They can generally be placed even on restored teeth (teeth with fillings and crowns). How many attachments will you need? The number of attachments can vary widely, again always tailored to your individual needs.
Taking Care of Your Attachments
While your aligners will change frequently, your attachments probably will not. So it’s a good idea to make sure you treat them well! Attachments are made to be stain resistant, but if you are a regular coffee or tea drinker, you might notice some discoloration, especially on the enamel surrounding the attachment. Talk to us about the best way to keep your attachments their cleanest and most invisible.
And, remember to brush around them carefully. Food can stick around them after eating, so you want to be sure to brush thoroughly after every meal.
If one falls off, give us a call! One way to help keep your attachments secure is to remove your aligners gently. We’ll show you how.
If you are just now exploring your orthodontic options, and are interested in clear aligners, talk to us. We can let you know just what your orthodontic needs are, all of your options for treating them, and if aligners can work for you!