10 Things to Know about Invisalign Attachments | Smile Stories

Top 10 Things To Know About Invisalign Attachments

You have probably already sensed from our other blogs and our Instagram page that Invisalign Clear Braces in Bournemouth have become one of our most popular options for adults who want straight teeth without obvious metal braces ?

If you are a good candidate for Invisalign teeth straightening, you’ll soon notice that it has some tricks up its sleeve to super-charge your tooth movements. Invisalign Attachments are a way that can even make your treatment time compared to fixed braces!

How Invisalign Attachments Work

Invisalign clear aligners are so powerful.

They move teeth over weeks and months of treatment. Results can be from as little as 3-4 months depending on the complexity of your treatment… and usually, the reason is that the aligners are not working alone. ?

Little tooth-coloured buttons, temporarily bonded to some tooth surfaces, are sometimes a necessary part of Invisalign.

Attachments or ‘Buttons’ help the clear aligners grip – and are patented by Invisalign®

This enables the aligners to carefully straighten your teeth to their new location, especially when tooth sizes, shapes or angles are awkward.

Top 10 Things To Know About Invisalign Attachments:

1. Attachments are tiny but mighty!

Invisalign attachments are little, tooth-coloured dots made of composite filling material. They are usually between 2-4mm in size.


Discreet Invisalign Attachments – tiny, tooth-coloured

This is the same material used for white fillings (and polished just as smooth!).

They are temporarily bonded to teeth to help Invisalign aligners to move them precisely.

2. Attachment shapes can vary

Depending on the goal of the tooth movement needed, they can be small rectangular shapes, triangular, circles or squares. Sometimes they are angled or “bevelled” in certain directions – don’t panic, this is completely intentional!

3. Position is planned carefully and matters enormously

Attachments are often positioned in the middle of the tooth, which anchors the aligner to make it work very effectively. Sometimes, a precise inwards, outwards or rotation movement needs an attachment in an off-centre location.

4. They’re part of a $120 million per year Research & Development budget

? Yes, really! Align Technology who patented Invisalign Attachments has a gigantic research budget to make their aligners work so well. Some companies pretend that they don’t need attachments, but the truth is they can’t use them because they’re protected by patents, and without them, the slippery aligners don’t fully grip teeth as planned.

5. Attachments can sometimes feel annoying

Your attachments help the aligners click in precisely, and makes the trays secure. So “just popping them out for 2 seconds” isn’t easy. It needs some care to look after your Invisalign aligners.

Some of our clients find they irritate the mouth lining at first (especially when their aligners are out of their mouths), but the body quickly adapts to normality and once they are removed a lot of our client’s comment that it is straight not to have them!

6. Not every tooth needs an attachment

Most of our new clients ask:

“Does every tooth need an attachment with Invisalign?”

The number of attachments you need is usually determined by our Digital Roadmap at Bournemouth Straight Teeth at the start of your treatment. We never use more than necessary, and often they are not needed throughout all of your treatment.

7. Sometimes attachments are obvious, sometimes they are not

If you have attachments placed on your front teeth they will be more noticeable than on others.

However, as an experienced Bournemouth Invisalign provider, we match the shade of the buttons very closely to your natural tooth colour (or can even offer you Professional Tooth Whitening before this starts – as part of your tooth straightening package!). That way, they blend in with your teeth.

8. Adding attachments is painless and quick

1️⃣ The surface of your tooth is cleaned with a gritty toothpaste

2️⃣ A disinfectant (like shampoo and conditioner) is placed on the tooth surface and washed off

3️⃣ A precise Invisalign template is used to glue the attachments exactly in the right place

4️⃣ The tiny bump is set in place with a bright blue light (hence those silly safety sunglasses we ask you to wear! ?)

When you no longer need the attachments they are carefully buffed off the tooth. It’s like having the most thorough (but gentle!) Dental Hygiene visit of your life.

9. Hidden Attachments – our secret weapon!

It is rare for Invisalign treatments to never need any attachments. But we can be sneaky and fool others into thinking you have none at all! (We won’t tell if you don’t!)

When you visit us we always try to hide them on the inner surface of your teeth (facing your tongue). If you are having Invisalign treatment elsewhere, ask if you are a candidate!

10. Attachments make Invisalign possible for more people

Did you know Invisalign has been used by more than 6 million people to straighten their teeth now? This used to be a niche treatment, but it’s now totally mainstream and proven to work.

If you have ever been told that Invisalign doesn’t work in complex alignment problems, the person offering you that advice might be speaking from their own experience. But not all dentists offering tooth straightening are created or trained equally.

See an experienced Invisalign provider find out for sure. Attachments can help aligners achieve tooth movements that would not otherwise be possible with Invisalign clear braces.


Zak Kara is part of the most sought-after team for Invisalign, Teeth Straightening in Bournemouth and Cosmetic Dentistry on the South Coast, Smile Stories.

They are renowned for helping their Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Wimborne and Ringwood clients achieve a lifetime supply of self-confidence by designing head-turning smiles… all without any old-fashioned over-formal white tunic weirdness.

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