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The revolutionary Invisalign treatment was first created for orthodontic patients with minor problems that could quickly be resolved with clear aligners. Most patients with crowded and problematic teeth were urged to go for traditional braces to get the straight teeth they wanted.

As the science behind clear aligners progressed over time, more patients were able to use the treatment plan with the help of additional attachments and buttons that were placed on the teeth.

Today, Invisalign buttons are used to help even the severe Invisalign patients who want their straight smile without the metal braces so, if you think you are not a good candidate for the Invisalign treatment, you might want to keep reading and find out all the details about the best ways to get a healthy smile.

What Are Invisalign Buttons?

Invisalign buttons are small hooks placed on certain teeth that enable Invisalign aligners to correct more significant misalignments, overbite, and underbite. With the tooth-colored hooks, patients can place rubber bands and expedite the tooth movements in the right places.

While this might sound invasive, the Invisalign attachments are tiny and barely noticeable when someone is standing next to you.

Considering they are tooth-colored dots, the treatment with clear aligners is still regarded as invisible and thus appropriate for all ages and patients. Your dentist will have all the information you might need and explain why you might require attachments in the first place.

Buttons are there to attach the rubber bands so you can expect your aligner to have a small hole in that place. It might be tricky to learn how to apply and take off the bands, but there are different tools on the market that make this an easy procedure.

Other Types of Invisalign Attachments

Invisalign attachments come in many shapes and forms, but they are all there to make the aligners fit better and straighten teeth faster. Moving teeth with Invisalign is a great way to get that perfect smile, but there are some limitations only properly placed attachments and buttons can resolve.

Invisalign attachments can be in the form of hooks, like mentioned buttons, but they can also be small dots bonded to your tooth and act as an anchor point for the clear aligner.

These attachments are small and allow a better grip of the aligner, so even if the tooth is severely crooked or needs additional rotation, it can be effectively straightened. This simple procedure enables complicated cases to be resolved with the Invisalign aligners and eliminates the need for traditional braces.

Do You Need Invisalign Attachments and Buttons?

Although you might know about Invisalign and want the treatment done, it’s up to your dentist to determine the best course of action. Some patients will require attachments, while others can have the same effectiveness with simple, clear aligners.

Most of the time, this additional orthodontic treatment is for patients who have severe crowding, crooked teeth, or other dental problems that make it impossible for Invisalign aligners to fit snugly around the teeth.

The best way to know if you need the attachments is to schedule a free consultation and find a dental office with the best orthodontist in your area.

How do Invisalign Buttons work?

Now that we are familiar with the attachments and buttons, we can focus more on the treatment and take a closer look at the process. The process might vary depending on the current state of your teeth, but in general, the mentioned steps are required when you need the attachment on any of your teeth.

Here are the stages you can expect at the dental office:


The best orthodontic care will begin with a thorough exam by orthodontics professionals. The doctors will be able to assess the current state of your teeth, examine your jaw and even have some x-rays made.

This is usually done during the free consultation and with the purpose of determining if you require any attachments to straighten your teeth.

Your orthodontist might recommend some additional work before the straightening of your teeth begins, such as filling cavities, placing crowns or pulling out some teeth. This is one of the reasons why you need to have a professional assess the condition of your teeth and ensure proper alignment with the aligner.

Placing the Invisalign attachments

Once your dentist determines the best treatment plan, you can move on to the simple procedure of applying the attachments and fitting your Invisalign aligners. As you might know, each tray of aligners is custom made to fit snuggly around the teeth of the patient.

If any kind of attachment is needed, your dentist will use the template aligner, which has gaps to fill in where the attachments will be placed. After the tooth surface is prepped, the dentist will apply dental bonding and create attachments that are the same color as your teeth.

The composite resin is then cured with the special light to harden and hold on to the Invisalign aligners. Depending on your needs, these attachments can have a different shape and be placed on the front or back teeth. Your dentist can use the same template aligner multiple times to add the attachments where they are needed.

Invisalign treatment plan

Once the attachments are placed, you can wear your aligners as prescribed. Keep in mind that some people feel uncomfortable the first few days because the rubber bands and attachments will create more pressure on your teeth and jaw.

In addition, it might feel unusual to have the attachment in your mouth when you take off the aligner, but this sensation is only temporary.

Knowing that your teeth will be perfectly straightened should be motivating enough to continue with this orthodontic treatment and wear Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours each day.


Most adults need to wear retainers every night when the Invisalign treatment is complete. This will prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original position and maintain your perfect smile.

Retainers don’t need any attachments to work properly, so you can expect the little bumps to be removed when you are done with the aligners.

Straighten smile

Once the treatment is complete, your dentist will simply remove all the attachments by buffing them down. Even though they attach the aligners securely during the treatment, they are easily removed with the right tools. In addition, with proper care, there will be no marks on your teeth where the attachments were placed.

How to Take Care of Invisalign Attachments?

During any orthodontic treatment, it’s crucial to maintain your oral hygiene and prevent tooth decay. This is especially true if you have attachments considering that food particles tend to remain there and cause buildup around the attachments.

While attachments are small, the bacteria can quickly cause tooth decay, and dark liquids can stain your teeth, ruining your perfect smile and effort.

Luckily, this can be prevented with regular brushing and flossing.

Take your Invisalign aligners off before you eat or drink anything, and clean your teeth before putting the aligners back in your mouth. In addition, pay special attention to the area around the attachments and floss regularly. Some patients even avoid red wine and coffee to prevent staining the teeth and attachments.

Make sure the surface of the attachment and the aligners are spotless before putting them back in. It might take some time to master the technique to remove and place in the trays with attachments, but patients find the right grip after a few tries.


Is Invisalign treatment more effective with attachments and buttons?

Depending on the patients and the need for additional support on some teeth, the treatment with attachments can be more effective. While clear braces are pretty effective on their own, some people have severe misalignment that requires pressure at specific points.

Considering orthodontic care has evolved over the years, the braces can now straighten even the cases that were once deemed impossible.

Can you wear Invisalign aligners without buttons?

Yes, you can wear your aligner without the attachments if your orthodontist considers you a suitable patient for the procedure. Most people with minor misalignments can wear just the Invisalign trays without any buttons, rubber bands, or attachments.

The best way to know for sure is to visit the local office and talk to your orthodontist about all the options you have and need. The success rates after this treatment are fantastic, so you are most likely going to get your perfect smile in a few months.

Does orthodontic treatment with attachments and buttons hurt?

Most Invisalign patients report slight discomfort while wearing the first set of trays. This is entirely normal and expected, considering the added pressure attachments create on your teeth.

Because your teeth need to move more to get into the proper position the pressure will feel more intense, but it’s nothing to be concerned about.

You can always remove the aligner, apply a cooling compress to the area or take some over-the-counter medications. The uncomfortable feeling will soon subside, and you can get back to your daily activities.

Final Thoughts

Ever since Invisalign aligners became a sensation patients and doctors prefer this technique over metal braces. The clear and high-quality plastic used meant patient can get the best results with minimal effort and time. But, for a long time this type of alignment was only available to people with minor problems while the rest of the patients had to rely on braces.

With the introduction of new and improved buttons and attachments orthodontics were able to expand the usage of clear braces and allow patients with bigger problems to be considered for the process.

While it’s great to know almost everyone can get the Invisalign braces now it’s up to your orthodontist to make the final decision. By adding a few carefully crafted and positioned attachments your doctor is able to make bigger movements of the teeth and straighten even the most challenging missalingments.

So, even if you thought you were not a suitable candidate schedule the appointment today and discover the wonders of a confident smile in no time.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.