There are two common procedures we use in conjunction with Invisalign aligners to get the movements we want.
Attachments: These are little tooth colored bumps that we place on the teeth – some are rectangular, some are triangular, there might even be two small ones on one tooth! These attachments help clip the trays on securely and help support certain specific movements that are difficult for the smooth plastic to do alone; we need more of a “grip” of your teeth. We place the small attachments at the first appointment and remove them at the end before we make retainers. Most people barely notice them when the aligners are on their teeth.
The number, position, and specific placement of attachments are unique to each patient and the movements he or she requires.
“Filing”: Sometimes there is more crowding on the bottom or the top teeth stick out further than we’d like and as part of your case work up, we decide to make some specific teeth more narrow. We use a small strip that has one rough side and we “polish” the sides of the teeth to make them less triangular, more rectangular and a little more narrow. At the very most, we’d take of 0.25mm of one side of any tooth – that is not enough to cause sensitivity, weaken the teeth, or make them more prone to cavities or gum disease. It is simply changing the shape of the teeth to allow us to fit them together better.
If you have specific questions about attachments or tooth re-shaping, please give us a call at (707) 938 – 5255 so that we can discuss those topics specific to your case.