My orthodontist just drew up a plan for me to get Invisalign. I’m not really worried about any of it except for the buttons he said I needed. A friend of mine has them as well and constantly complains about the awkwardness and irritation caused by them, but I also know people who didn’t get any at all. Should I get a second opinion or just tell my dentist that I don’t want the buttons when he does my Invisalign?
Julie in Kansas
Your teeth are as unique to you as your fingerprints are. No two sets are exactly alike. In fact, there’s an entire specialty field in dentistry called “forensic odontology” devoted entirely to solving crimes and identifying victims based solely on teeth and impressions left from bite marks. As unsettling as that may sound, it just goes to show you that your treatment won’t be identical to your friends, nor will it be identical to the patient seen before you or the patient seen after you, because each of you have teeth in slightly different positions and it will always be so.
Buttons or attachments in Invisalign treatment serve a purpose. Sometimes, teeth are aligned in such a way that the aligners either can’t shift them into proper position or it will extend the length of your treatment. So, to ensure swift and proper results, your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist may need to place buttons.
Most patients don’t experience any issue with them at all. They’re tiny nodules that are adhered to the top of your tooth, just above the top of the Invisalign aligner and they hold elastic bands which will help move your teeth. Sometimes people feel discomfort as the teeth are pulled into proper positions. This is normal and can be alleviated with over the counter medications like ibuprofen. If one protrudes or irritates your gums, mention it to your orthodontist as he may be able to make slight adjustments that will make a world of difference.