Invisalign attachments: How do they look like? What Invisalign won’t tell you…
Look at this photo, this is what Invisalign markets to the general public on how their appliance looks like. The truth of the matter is there is NO WAY you can move teeth with just plastic alone.
First of all, plastic is very flimsy and flexible, and teeth are very smooth. With this current setup, there is no way teeth are going to move because there is NOTHING for teeth to grab or hold onto. We need to alter the shape of the tooth in order for the plastic to grab onto the teeth.
That’s where Invisalign attachments come in, here is an example of how they look on the Clincheck (the computer software program that Invisalign uses to setup tooth movement).
NOTE: The attachments are only red on the Clincheck because they are easier to see and move on the Clincheck simulation software.
As you can see, Invisalign attachments come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, some of them I can’t even show you on here because there are too many variations on how they are applied to move teeth.
So why are attachments needed?
Attachments allow you to PUSH teeth in the right direction. It’s different from braces where teeth can be pushed and pulled in different directions using brackets and wires. Each attachment is custom designed to execute the proper tooth movement, or they are used to help pit teeth against each other to perform bigger movement of a group of teeth. They are utilized to move teeth into creating a proper smile.
I like to make the analogy that moving teeth is like conducting an orchestra. All the pieces need to be pre-programmed properly and all the parts need to be setup properly to allow for all the teeth to line up correctly, ultimately leading to a beautiful smile.
Here are photos of two different patients with attachments on during treatment.
NOTE: Attachments may look brighter than teeth, if the teeth are naturally darker than the attachment colors.
These attachments are left on the teeth until the treatment is completed. Hopefully, this gives you a better perspective in what to expect during Invisalign treatment.