How Invisalign SmartForce® Attachments Benefit Patients
Within the span of just 20 years, Invisalign has become one of the top choices for those looking to straighten their teeth.
Due to its minimalistic appearance and capability of being removed at a moment’s notice throughout treatment, this transparent appliance is used in more than 45 countries around the world.
From a lifestyle perspective, it is often selected by older teens and adults who are seeking a versatile appliance.
In terms of effectiveness, Invisalign can do many (but not all) things well. When used in the right situations and when a patient is cooperative with treatment instructions, overall satisfaction with clear aligners is remarkably high.
Yet, when treatment begins, most patients do not realize this appliance often requires more than just the removable clear tray to be effective. Additionally, colored attachments are adhered to select teeth to reinforce its effectiveness.
The invisible aligner itself works to apply light and gentle pressure on the teeth to be moved. Innovative though the aligners may be, they can only do so much without having a fulcrum point on the teeth to direct this pressure in the appropriate direction. In other words, the Invisalign clear trays need material on certain teeth to “grip” them so appropriate and predictable tooth movement can be achieved.
The utilization of these attachments has advanced the effectiveness of clear aligner treatment and allowed orthodontists to accomplish certain movements that were not possible in years past and are not possible with direct-to-consumer clear aligners.
How Do the Invisalign SmartForce® Attachments Work?
The attachments work by aiding the invisible aligners in straightening and moving teeth efficiently. They are a critical component of the clear aligner system and necessary in virtually every case.
These attachments are adhered to the teeth with a similar material as used for colored dental fillings. No drilling of the teeth is required before placement, however, and they are easily polished away once treatment is complete. They do not change the structure of the actual teeth they are placed on at all. They are merely a temporary addition to certain teeth while they are being moved.
They provide an anchoring point by which they aligner may effectively grab the tooth to move it in the desired direction and with the desired force. This gives orthodontists better control over the teeth, especially for complex movements that have traditionally been difficult or impossible with clear aligners. Difficult movements include rotation (turning a rotated tooth) and extrusion (moving an upper tooth downwards or a lower tooth upwards).
These attachments, which may be several different shapes (rectangular, square, circular, etc.), are mindfully placed on specific areas of specific teeth for better leverage.
The type of shape used will correspond to the specific direction the tooth needs to go in.
Not all teeth need one of the SmartForce® attachments, but for moderate to severe cases a patient can expect many of the teeth to have attachments placed.
It is important to remember that Invisalign systems are just a tool in the hands of the treating orthodontist. In other words, the result achieved in treatment are wholly dependent on the treating orthodontist and support team rendering treatment. Engineering the attachment design and placement is a critical component of successfully treating a case and is done by the treating orthodontist.
Where a patient seeks treatment will make a difference not only with their overall experience, but with the quality of result. Results from one orthodontic practice to another will not be the same, just as treatment with one type of clear aligner to another will not be the same. It is important to choose your orthodontist wisely!
Are the Attachments Noticeable?
Luckily, most Invisalign SmartForce® attachments are tooth colored (white).
These attachments are not completely invisible but are much more discreet than the brackets and wires used with traditional braces. In addition, while these SmartForce® attachments may feel foreign for the first week or two, they eventually go unnoticed and end up feeling just like part of one’s tooth.
Once the teeth have moved as intended and treatment is complete, they will be polished off quickly, easily, and without the need for any Novocaine.
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke are more than happy to answer any questions related to Invisalign at your free consultation offered to all prospective patients. Please call Burke & Redford Orthodontists at (951) 699-8011 or go online to schedule one today.
Our office locations are in Temecula and Lake Elsinore.
How are SmartForce® Attachments Beneficial?
Because of the severe, often complex cases many orthodontic patients can present with, Invisalign would generally not be an ideal option.
However, well designed attachments allow a much wider range of patients to use this system that, in normal circumstances, would not be able to.
The attachments help to achieve specific movements of the teeth required for a straight smile and a balanced bite.
Even with the attachments on, the invisible aligners can come on and off the teeth as they normally would. In fact, many patients are relieved to know that the attachments make for a very snug fit of the clear trays over the teeth. This helps to prevent the trays from coming loose when talking or sleeping.
How Do I Know if I Need Invisalign Attachments?
It is important to keep in mind that everyone is unique, and some will require more attachments than others. Only the very simplest of cases will not require any attachments at all. Based on the expert evaluation of each specific case, the orthodontist will determine how many attachments and to which teeth they will need to be applied to facilitate treatment.
Patients who request no attachments, a minimal number of attachments, or certain teeth to be avoided should be informed that the ability to achieve desired movement, and therefore the quality of result, will be compromised.
In every case, all treatment options and details of treatment will be discussed during the initial consultation. It is the goal of our board-certified orthodontists to give prospective patients an honest assessment of what can be achieved with each treatment option and to work closely to achieve their goals.
Any specific questions regarding Invisalign or other braces options we offer may be directed to Burke & Redford Orthodontists in Temecula or Lake Elsinore.
If you are interested in getting started with an expert Invisalign doctor, schedule a free consultation with our well known, best orthodontists in the Inland Empire. We are happy to answer questions or help with scheduling during our normal business hours at (951) 699-8011 of by filling out the free consultation form on the website anytime.