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Orthodontic Inquiry: Does it Hurt to Remove Invisalign Attachments?

December 4, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentalimpress @ 4:59 pm
Man holding an Invisalign tray that has bumps for attachments

If you’re looking for solutions to straighten your smile, you’ve probably already learned about Invisalign. This orthodontic treatment is a popular alternative to traditional braces that doesn’t involve unsightly metal brackets. Because it’s touted as a discrete way to shift your teeth, many patients are alarmed to learn that they may need Invisalign attachments and have questions. Why are they necessary? Will they be visible? Do they hurt to remove? Keep reading to find the answers!

What Are Invisalign Attachments?

When you have your first Invisalign appointment with your dentist, they’ll take images of your teeth and study your bite alignment. This information is used to build the clear aligner trays that you’ll wear throughout your treatment to move your pearly whites to their ideal placements.

Depending on your unique circumstances, your dentist may have to include Invisalign attachments, too. These are small bumps applied to your tooth that provide an anchor for the trays to grab onto. They are used if your tooth requires extra force or torque to relocate. Traditional braces do this with brackets, wires, and rubber bands installed on your teeth which is what makes them impactful, but more visibly intrusive. Invisalign attachments, meanwhile, are made from composite resin in a translucent shade, so they bond to your teeth but are still largely invisible underneath your aligner tray.

How Long Must I Have Invisalign Attachments?

You’ll likely have the attachments in place for the duration of your treatment. They could potentially be removed earlier than that if one of your arches is completely straight before the other. For example, if your upper teeth are done shifting before your lower ones, your dentist might remove the attachments from your top set but not the bottom.

If you opt not to have attachments placed, your teeth won’t shift as quickly as anticipated and you could lengthen your overall treatment time. In some cases, it takes twice as long to relocate them without the clear grooves.  

Does Removing Attachments Hurt?

It’s natural to worry that removing permanently installed composite resin will be painful or will harm your teeth. Fortunately, that’s not the case! Your dentist gently drills them away a little at a time with a specialized instrument. Because it’s non-invasive, they likely won’t even need a local anesthetic because it’s a pain-free process.

Furthermore, your teeth stay healthy and intact because no enamel will be removed. Once the attachments have been worn away, your dentist will polish your newly perfected pearly whites, and no one will ever know they were there to begin with.

By using attachments, your dentist can provide treatment comparative to metal braces without detracting from your appearance. Soon, you’ll have the perfect, even smile you deserve!

About the Author

Dr. Sweeta Walia has more than 15 years of experience improving people’s overall well-being by enhancing their oral health. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Emory University and then attended the Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine for her doctorate. She takes the time to get to know her patients’ unique needs and provides a full range of dental services to meet them, including Invisalign therapy. If you’re interested in a consultation, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (972) 288-3200.

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