Invisalign Attachments: Why They Fall off and Why You Need to Call Your Dentist Immediately

Posted on: 12 December 2016

For some Invisalign patients, it is necessary for a dentist to employ handles, or buttons, along with the usual treatment. These attachments aid in the movement of teeth by serving as anchorage points on certain teeth. Generally square or rectangular-shaped, these attachments make it possible for your Invisalign aligners to move certain segments of teeth while keeping others in place. These buttons also give your aligners more surface area on which to grip as they move your teeth. 

On rare occasions, these attachments fall off. If this happens, you need to contact your dentist or orthodontist immediately. 

Main Reasons That Attachments Fall off

While it is rare, it does happen, and some patients may even encounter this problem on a regular basis due to certain conditions, each of which will be explained below. 

1. Acids May Be Weakening the Bonding

Your diet may be affecting the bonding material used to bond the attachment to the surface of your tooth. If you are fond of soft drinks like cola, citrus fruits such as oranges, or foods like ice-cream, your attachments may be falling off due to the acid contained in these types of food. Acid may be weakening the composite bonding, and causing the attachments to break off the surface of your tooth. 

2. Your Aligner Is Too Tight

You should be able to remove your aligner easily, with little force. As you remove your aligner, you may hear a slight clicking sound as it disengages from the attachments, but the force should be minimal. If you are having to pull with force, your aligner is too tight.

3. The Button Is Too Big

The button or attachment might actually be too big. Your aligner may fit nicely over the button but is difficult to remove. In this case, your dentist can reduce the button's size. 

Get Attachments Replaced as Soon as Possible

Because these attachments allow for a more targeted Invisalign treatment, i.e. the moving of certain teeth and teeth segments, it is vital to the success of your treatment that you inform your dentist straight away if one of the attachments falls out. 

A few days won't usually make much of a difference, especially as each aligner only moves teeth at a rate of about 0.25mm per fortnight, but waiting any longer than that might be detrimental to the success of your treatment. For example, if your dentist had attached a button to an especially crooked lateral incisor in order to bring it level with the central incisors, a delay in reattaching the button could mean that particular tooth falls behind the rest on the predicted treatment timeline. 

This isn't quite a dental emergency. However, it is always best to inform your dentist as soon as possible should one of your attachments fall off. This way, you can continue your Invisalign treatment in peace, without worrying about any hitches. For more information about the Invisalign handles, talk to a dentist like those at Infinite Point Cook Dental.


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