Invisalign Attachments: How They Work and What They’re Used For

Invisalign Attachments: How They Work and What They’re Used For

June 1, 2023

If you plan on undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® in Ancaster, ON, you must not go in blindly. It helps to research the nature of the treatment, the timeline, and the type of appliance necessary for the procedure. This mindset prepares you for the treatment timeline, which often takes between 6 and 18 months.

What Is Invisalign?

It is an orthodontic aligner that straightens teeth and jaws. Orthodontists at Golf Links Dental often employ Invisalign as an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal braces. Therefore, instead of metal brackets and wires, Invisalign aligners successfully move teeth with a plastic-like clear tray that fits snugly over teeth.

What Are Invisalign Attachments?

​The most used Invisalign attachment definition is a small tooth-colored button or clear bump attached to teeth during Invisalign treatment. Invisalign attachments typically feature a composite material. Orthodontists use them to help the aligner trays grip the teeth more effectively, allowing for more precise tooth movement.

​How Do They Work?

Attachments help to apply pressure to specific teeth or to rotate or shift them into the desired position. You will need these Invisalign attachments throughout, and your dentist will remove them at the end of treatment. The good news is that they are not noticeable during treatment due to their clear or tooth-colored appearance. When it comes to how Invisalign attachments work, notice that the placement is crucial.

Usually, the attachments are shaped and placed in a way that corresponds to the specific movements needed to straighten your teeth. When the orthodontist places the aligner trays over the attachments, they grip onto them, providing more force to the teeth that need to be moved. The aligner trays fit snugly over the attachments, keeping them in place and preventing slipping or shifting during treatment.

Are There Different Kinds of Attachments?

​The types of Invisalign attachments differ depending on the patient’s needs. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Buttons – are the most common attachments in Invisalign treatment. They are small, tooth-colored bumps that act as anchor points for rubber bands.
  2. Precision cuts – are small notches or grooves in the aligner trays that guide teeth into the desired position, achieving more precise tooth movements.
  3. Power ridges – are raised bumps or ridges added to the aligner trays for extra force and pressure on the teeth. They are common in cases where more force is necessary to move the teeth.
  4. Staging aligners – aligner trays with additional aligner material built to control the timing and amount of tooth movement.

​Are Invisalign Attachments Relevant and Worth It for Your Treatment?

​The pros and cons of Invisalign attachments are only relevant when you have comprehended what Invisalign attachments are used for in orthodontics. From here, you can evaluate the different types to choose the best one, knowing the potential benefits or setbacks you may experience during treatment. Some pros and cons to consider are:


  1. Precision: Invisalign attachments provide more precise tooth movements, allowing for better control over the treatment outcome.
  2. Faster Results: Attachments can reduce Invisalign treatment time.
  3. Versatility: Invisalign attachments can address a wider range of orthodontic issues, such as tooth rotation or extrusion thanks to attachments.
  4. Better Grip: Attachments strengthen the grip of the aligner trays onto teeth for a more secure fit and improved results.
  5. Minimally Invasive: Invisalign attachments are a discreet and minimally invasive option for orthodontic treatment.


  1. Discomfort: Invisalign attachments cause initial soreness for the first few days after placement or replacement.
  2. Additional Costs: Invisalign attachments add the cost of treatment. However, they are typically included in the overall treatment plan.
  3. Oral Hygiene Challenges: Attachments can make brushing and flossing more challenging as they need additional effort and attention.
  4. Visible Attachments: The location of Invisalign attachments may make them visible on the teeth.


Overall, your specific type of attachment will depend on your customized treatment plan and specific orthodontic needs. Your orthodontist will determine which type of attachment is best for your Invisalign treatment.